`UK Tightens Rules on Olive Tree Imports - Olive Oil Times

UK Tightens Rules on Olive Tree Imports

By Julie Al-Zoubi
Apr. 21, 2020 13:37 UTC

The United Kingdom has intro­duced strin­gent new mea­sures to pro­tect the country’s trees and plants from harm­ful threats posed by a range of dis­eases and pests includ­ing deadly Xylella fas­tidiosa.

The U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) brought in the new reg­u­la­tions amid grow­ing con­cerns that cur­rent EU emer­gency mea­sures were not enough to pre­vent the spread of Xylella fas­tidiosa accord­ing to threats high­lighted by a pest risk assess­ment( PRA).

In a trade let­ter, Defra said, We rec­og­nize the chal­lenges that the hor­ti­cul­tural sec­tor and indi­vid­ual busi­nesses are fac­ing at the cur­rent time due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, and we have reflected care­fully on the tim­ing of these new reg­u­la­tions, but believe it is impor­tant to pro­ceed now to pro­tect the UK’s biose­cu­rity.”

The revised reg­u­la­tions pro­hibit the import of Coffea (Coffee plants) and Polygala myr­ti­fo­lia due to their high dis­ease rate. Other high-risk hosts includ­ing olive, almond, laven­der and rose­mary will face more severe import require­ments.

Defra issued a state­ment declar­ing that the leg­is­la­tion is in response to sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns about the risk of plant mate­r­ial infected with Xylella fas­tidiosa being moved within the EU, as well as the risk of intro­duc­tions from third coun­tries.” It also high­lights the recent inter­cep­tion of infected olive trees in Belgium and a recent case in Vinca, Italy, events that demon­strate that there is a risk of infected plants being moved with­out visual symp­toms.”

Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence said in a press release, Xylella is a major threat to our land­scape and indus­try and in this year of International Plant Health it is more imper­a­tive than ever that we do all we can to ensure the UK remains a Xylella-free zone”

Tighter restric­tions will also be applied to plants and trees pos­ing a high risk of spread­ing emer­ald ash borer and plane wilt.


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