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International Year of Plant Health 2020

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th November 2019.

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Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

Oak processionary moths are a particular risk, but they are more of an animal and plant health risk because of the serious skin irritations and allergic reactions that they can cause.

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom oak processionary moth protected zone. In July this year, following the introduction of oak processionary moth-infested trees into England, the Scottish Government further strengthened protection by introducing emergency measures, which have restricted the movement of larger oak trees that are deemed to be at the highest risk of OPMs. Similar legislation was introduced throughout the UK.

Scottish Government officials are working with other parts of the UK to share intelligence on the scale and distribution of trees that have been imported into the UK, and our inspectors are investigating all Scottish sites in which suspect trees have been planted since September 2018.

I can confirm to Angus MacDonald that Scotland has had six positive findings, that the infested trees have been destroyed, and that Scottish Government inspectors have visited 157 sites in total to inspect for oak processionary moths. As a precautionary measure, pheromone traps were deployed at each of the positive sites. However, all of those tested negative for OPM.