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General Public

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.

Relocation to Gogarbank


SASA relocated from East Craigs to purpose-built accommodation at Gogarbank Farm, 4 miles west of Edinburgh, near Ratho, in 2006.

The move to Gogarbank Farm, where SASA's field trialling work takes place, eliminates the need for inter-site travel, provides modern facilities to replace the ageing buildings at East Craigs, and allows for full integration of the laboratory, glasshouse and field operations.

Construction of the new premises commenced in July 2004, and was completed on time, and within budget, in December 2005.

Scottish Agricultural Science Agency


1992 Agency status
1992 Diagnostics and Molecular Biology
1998 Plant Breeders Rights
1998 1999 Devolution - SEERAD
1999 Seed Potato Classification Scheme
2000 GM Inspectorate

Post-War Expansion


1950 Oat certification
1955 Nematology and Crop Zoology
1956 Analytical Chemistry
1959 Barley certification
1964:1974 Plant Varieties and Seeds Act : Plant Breeders Rights
1967:1981 Pathogen-free potato propagation : micropropagation
1989 Information Technology

Foundations of SASA


1913-1918 Seed testing and seed potato classification in central Edinburgh
1920 East Craigs purchased
1923 Labs built
1935 Seed testing station – Plant registration service
1936 Plant pathology work
1945 Plant quarantine work – Farm certification schemes

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.

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by Dr. Radut