Plant Health and Bee Health
Protecting plant health is a shared responsibility between government, growers, traders and the general public. There are two main elements to plant health: quarantine and certification.
Quarantine measures are taken to keep foreign pests out of areas where they could cause damage to crops, trees and wild plants. Measures are based on a scientific assessment of the risks. They may include rules restricting import and movement of plants and plant produce, or specifying treatments or inspections which have to be carried out. Surveys and publicity increase the chance that outbreaks are detected early while they can still be eradicated.
Certification ensures that high quality planting material, substantially free from plant pests and diseases, is available to growers. For example all seed potatoes sold in the UK are certified.
The UK works with other EC Member States and the European Commission to agree appropriate plant health rules for Europe and co-ordinate their implementation.
A more detailed account of the principles and practice of plant health is given in the “Plant Health Strategy for England” (see below) published in 2005.
PHD also has responsibility for Defra's Bee Health programme, which is designed to control the spread of notifiable diseases and pests of honey bees in England. Click here for more information.
Plant Health strategy pdf
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Page last modified:
26 Feb 2007
Page published: 5 May 2003