New measures allow replanting trees in the infected area and allow the sparing of uncontaminated monumental olive trees. Meanwhile, new cases of infected plants have appeared further north.
The European Union approved new measures for the management of areas contaminated by Xylella fastidiosa (Xf). After hearing requests by Italy, the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee) during its last meeting in Brussels approved the text of the European emergency measures to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
The new plan provides for:
The new measures also provide for the strengthening of inspections of European production sites of olive trees and other plant species that can be affected by the bacteria such as oleander and almond trees.
See Also: Articles on Xylella Fastidiosa
The decision was the result of persistent diplomatic work over the past few weeks in Brussels, said Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina, who added that the protective measures applied to imports will provide greater safety guarantees.
This suggests that that the disease has headed north and the buffer zone should be extended to the southern part of the province of Bari.
According to EU rules, “if the presence of the specified organism is confirmed in the buffer zone, the delimitation of the infected zone and buffer zone shall immediately be reviewed and changed accordingly.”
Furthermore, some olive trees are located at elevation 300m (984ft) above sea level, which is the highest altitude so far associated with the presence of Xylella. This is one of the reasons supervisory authorities and scientists are pushing to find effective solutions.