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Laboratory Investigations

Covering post mortem examinations and pesticide analysis

Post Mortem Examination

Post mortem examination is an essential element of the investigation. Other causes of death that may be unrelated to possible exposure to a pesticide can be identified, eliminating the requirement for analysis. Alternatively evidence consistent with poisoning being the cause of death may be gained, and appropriate tissue samples taken for analysis

How To Report Pesticide Incidents

Information on how to go about reporting pesticide incidents

Animals (Wildlife & Pets)

Incidents of suspected poisoning of animals in Scotland involving;

  • Wild birds and mammals
  • Companion animals
  • Livestock
  • Honeybees

should be notified to the WIIS scheme operated at SASA on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Samples may be submitted to the scheme by;

Field Investigations

Field investigations are often only triggered following the identification of a specific pesticide as the likely cause of poisoning. However field investigations may be initiated following either notification, or after post-mortem examination, if sufficient evidence of pesticide involvement is available.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS)

Incidents of suspected poisoning of animals by pesticides in Scotland are investigated. The aim of the scheme is to identify any adverse effects on non-target animals that might arise from the approved use of pesticides.

Pesticide Residues in Food

One of the principal functions of the Pesticides Branch at SASA is participation in annual UK and EU surveillance programme aimed at the monitoring of multiple pesticide residues in food & drink.

Pesticide & Chemical Analysis

An introduction to our work in the areas of Food & Drink surveys,operation of Scotland’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS - Scotland) and provison of analytical chemistry support to the investigation of Wildlife Crime.

Pesticide Usage

The regulation of pesticides and biocides in the UK is undertaken by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) in York and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Bootle respectively. Pesticides and biocides are carefully assessed prior to approval under the EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides and the Biocidal Products Directive respectively.

Seed Testing & Certification

The sale of most agricultural and horticultural seeds is controlled through a series of seeds regulations dealing with cereals, fodder crops, oil and fibre crops, beet seeds, and vegetables respectively. These regulations are part of an EU-wide framework which ensures that seeds meet the same quality standards wherever they are sold in the European Union.

Seed & Ware Potatoes

The Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS) ensures the continuing high quality of Scottish Seed Potatoes, by setting strict tolerances for freedom from disease and trueness to type. SASA is the Certifying Authority for the SPCS and also carries out a range of scientific activities in support of seed potato classification in Scotland. 

Information on the SPCS, including application forms for tuber inspection and soil testing for PCN, can be found in the Classification Scheme section.

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by Dr. Radut