The European Commission is changing one of the emergency measures an EU member state has to take after an outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa.
So far the buffer zone around an outbreak should have a 10 km radius. This will be changed into a 5 km radius, confirms Tjitte Mastenbroek, spokesman for the Dutch phytosanitary service NVWA. It’s not yet known when this will be effective.
One year ago the Dutch government made some proposals in Brussels to adjust the emergence measures, after consultation with the NVWA and the Dutch industry.
„The change into a 5 km radius is a first step in the right direction”, responds Henk Raaijmakers, chairman of the Dutch hardy nurserystock association, part of agricultural organization LTO.
Fears of introduction via import
The Netherlands are free of Xylella, however the industry fears that the quarantine bacterium will enter the country via import of plant material. „We still need to be highly alert”, says Raaijmakers.
For a 5 km zone in the event of an outbreak, all efforts must be focused on eradication. There’s a movement ban for host plants in that buffer zone for at least 5 years.
Foto: Donato Boscia, Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante