Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland: Professor Gerry Saddler
Working across forestry, crops and the natural environment to improve Scotland’s plant health resilience
Professor Gerry Saddler was appointed as the Scottish Government’s first Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland (CPHOS) in April 2017. The CPHOS is responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership, across forestry, crops and the natural environment, to minimise the risk and impact of plant health threats in Scotland.
With over 1,000 plant health threats already listed on the UK plant health risk register, the pest and disease risks are ever growing due to trade and tourism globalisation and the challenges associated with climate change. Plants are vitally important to our environment, biodiversity, diet and wellbeing and are currently valued at £19.2billion/annum* to the Scottish economy. The appointment of the CPHOS and the creation of Plant Health Centre of Expertise to provide rapid call down evidence to inform policy decisions, demonstrates the Scottish Government’s drive to improve our plant health resilience.
Working closely with UK plant health service colleagues, the CPHOS is responsible for co-ordinating the Scottish Government’s plant health response in terms of policy, inspections and surveillance activities. In the event of a plant health outbreak, it is the CPHOS who will lead and coordinate the Scottish Government’s response and provide stakeholder guidance.
* Comprising crops (£822m), natural environment (£17.2bn) , forestry (£1bn) taken from these sources:
- Scottish Government. 2016. Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture: 2016 Edition. Available on the Scottish Government website.
- RPA & Cambridge Econometrics. 2008. The Economic Impact of Scotland’s Natural Environment. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No.304 (ROAME No. R07AA106). Available on the SNH website.
- CJC Consulting. 2015 The economic contribution of the forestry sector in Scotland : Final report. Available on the Scottish Forestry website.