New measures in place to contain and eradicate Xylella in Europe

The Official Journal of the European Union has published the new Regulation of containment and eradication measures for Xylella fastidiosa in Europe, the objective of which is to prevent its introduction and ensure its containment. This new regulation replaces the previous ones, which were based on the latest research from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

According to Olimerca, among the measures, in force since last August 20, the reduction of the radius of the eradication area from 100 to 50 meters stands out, a measure that divides by four the area affected by the uprooting. Additionally, the associated buffer zone, which is meant to prevent the spread of the bacteria to unaffected areas, has also been cut in half.

In order to eradicate the specified pest and prevent its further spread to the rest of the Union, UE members should establish demarcated zones consisting of an infected zone and a buffer zone, and implement eradication measures. The width of the buffer zones must be proportional to the level of risk and the propagation capacity of the vector.

However, in cases of isolated presence of the specified pest, the establishment of a demarcated area should not be required if the pest can be eliminated from the newly introduced plants in which it was detected. This will be the most proportionate approach when surveys in the affected area lead to the conclusion that the specified pest is not established.

In order to ensure the immediate elimination of infected plants and to prevent the specified pest from spreading further to the rest of the Union territory, the control of the demarcated areas should be carried out annually at the most appropriate time of the year.

Control should also focus on the vectors present in the demarcated area, in order to determine the risk of their continued spreading and to evaluate the effectiveness of phytosanitary control measures applied to the vector population in all its phases.