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International Day of Plant Health – 12th May 2023 at National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

To celebrate International Day of Plant Health 2023, the National Botanic Gardens hosted an event, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture to raise awareness on how each one of us can play our part to protect plant health from introduced pests.

International Day of Plant Health – 12th May 2023 at National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Attendees at the event heard from a range of expert speakers in areas such horizon scanning for potential plant health pests and diseases, the role of citizens in the national plant health surveillance programme and the work undertaken at border control points in relation to plant pest detection.  

Addressing the event, Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity with special responsibility for horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: “It is vital that we all play our part in maintaining Ireland’s favourable plant health status by continuing to raise awareness of the social, environmental, and economic impact associated with the introduction of infected plant material or quarantine pests and diseases into Ireland.”  

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan, T.D. welcomed the event: “We are delighted to host the International Day for Plant Health here at the National Botanic Gardens, which are managed by the Office of Public Works. Fundamental to managing the more than 17,000 plants at the National Botanic Gardens is the regular exchange of plants with botanic gardens around the world. To help prevent the introduction of plant pests, the National Botanic Gardens promotes the ethical and safe exchange of plants through our adherence to international policies and best practice.’’  

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have drafted Contingency Plans for Priority Pests which are currently out for public consultation.  The purpose of these plans is to set out the procedures to be followed and the measures to be taken in the event of an outbreak of a regulated pest, which could have potential significant economic, environmental and social implications.  Contingency plans aim to ensure that the effects of a finding or outbreak would be minimised, and that eradication and control measures would be implemented in a timely and effective manner.  

The International Day of Plant Health 2023 calls on everyone to raise awareness and take action to keep our plants healthy and help protect the environment and biodiversity.