Defra denies Xylella interceptions in UK

    The UK authorities claim that the United Kingdom is still free from Xylella.

    Horticulture Week reported Thursday morning about four Xylella interceptions in the UK, all found in imported ornamental plants including a coffee plant from Costa Rica. According to the British ministery of Defra, that report is not correct.

    „There is no Xylella in the UK”, says Defra press officer Sadie Lister to Dutch magazine for hardy nurserystock De Boomkwekerij. Defra intercepted one ornamental coffee plant in 2015. „It was imported from another EU country and destroyed. Coffee plants from Costa Rica and Honduras have been banned from the EU.”

    ’Increased protection reduces risk’

    Last October Michael Gove called for better EU protection against Xylella. The UK environment secretary said the UK would otherwise have been forced to take action if EU protections were not increased.

    „The increased protection is secured in November”, says the Defra press officer, referring to the mandatory testing on the bacterium at the most risky host plants at production sites across the EU. „This will significantly reduce the risk of Xylella being brought into the UK.”

    Lister also refers to the Brexit . „When we leave the EU, we will also have an opportunity to examine all our national biosecurity measures on plant imports, to ensure they are as robust as possible to protect the UK against diseases like Xylella.”



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