`Olive Tree Felling Starts in Apulia Amid Protests - Olive Oil Times

Olive Tree Felling Starts in Apulia Amid Protests

Apr. 19, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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This week Italian forestry offi­cials began cut­ting down infected olive trees in the Salento region of Apulia (Puglia). The infec­tion of over 74,000 acres of olive groves in this region of South Italy has been blamed on the Xylella fas­tidiosa bac­terium, spread by insects.

The destruc­tion of the trees fol­lows a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal by the European Commission rec­om­mend­ing the cut­ting down of 11 mil­lion olive trees in the region to con­tain the spread of the deadly bac­terium.

On Monday the first seven trees were chopped down and burned in Oria, near Brindisi, amid protests by oppo­nents who attempted to stop the destruc­tion of the trees by climb­ing their branches and shout­ing assas­sins!”. Some of the region’s olive trees are believed to be over 500 years old.

Opponents to the dras­tic mea­sures say that chop­ping down the trees will not con­tain the out­break while experts main­tain that the infec­tion can­not be erad­i­cated with­out killing the infected plant.
See Also:Complete Coverage of the Xylella Outbreak in Apulia
In response to fears of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion to other coun­tries of the EU, and in the absence of a con­sen­sus on the EU-wide mea­sures to be taken, France recently announced a ban on the import of veg­eta­bles and plants from Apulia.


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