Agriculture and Rural Development Division
T: 0131-244 4895 F: 0131-244 6950
Our ref: CRE1044 / E486838
15 July 2008
CONSULTATION ON FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF RISKS FROM P. RAMORUM AND P. KERNOVIAE
I am writing to invite you to contribute to a review of the management of risks from P. ramorum and P. kernoviae. These two fungus-like pathogens of plants have the ability to kill trees and cause serious damage to some garden shrubs, and have the potential to kill native heathland species. They have become a significant problem in south-west England and south Wales, and have recently been found for the first time in gardens and the wider environment in Scotland. The review will help Scottish Ministers decide what approach should be taken towards these pathogens in the future, balancing the costs of controlling the diseases against the impact on trade and the environment if they continue to spread.
Since this is a GB-wide problem, a similar consultation is being undertaken by Defra for England and Wales. An interdepartmental Programme Board with representatives from the Scottish Government, Defra and the Forestry Commission exists to co-ordinate action against P. ramorum and P. kernoviae across Great Britain.
A consultation paper and Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment are enclosed. Written views are requested on three options for future management of the diseases:
- Option 1 - to reduce controls to the minimum required by EU legislation;
- Option 2 - to increase controls with the aim of eradicating the diseases;
- Option 3 - to continue current action for a further two years to gather more evidence.
We are also seeking views on the assumptions and data used to analyse the impacts of each proposed option. We welcome comments from anyone with an interest in these pathogens. Views would be welcome particularly from commercial growers and traders of plant material, owners and managers of woodland and moorland, and those responsible for historic and public gardens.
Details of how to respond are given in the attached consultation paper. Written responses are requested by 7 October 2008.
We are also considering holding a consultation meeting of interested parties, probably in September, to help formulate views before comments are submitted. If you would be interested in attending such a meeting, please contact me at the address above, no later than 12 August.
This consultation paper and Partial RIA are also available online, on the consultation pages of the Scottish Government website at www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.
Agricultural Commodities Branch