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Australia: Dangerous citrus tree disease stopped at border

Australian Biosecurity officers recently intercepted a number of fruit items at the border, which were found to be carrying a citrus disease. According to Head of Biosecurity, Lyn O’Connell, the items were intercepted on separate occasions and all tested positive for citrus canker pathogen.

“This is an example of the significant biosecurity risks that Australia faces and why it is so important to follow our biosecurity conditions,” Ms O’Connell said. “Back in 2004, a citrus canker outbreak had a major impact on our million-dollar citrus industry and the disease has also caused extensive production losses in citrus industries overseas. These recent interceptions are particularly concerning given there is an ongoing national response plan in place to manage previous detections of citrus canker in Northern Territory and Western Australia.”

”In the past few months, a passenger arrived at Brisbane Airport with one kilogram of limes and another brought dried citrus peel with them. Biosecurity officers also intercepted dried whole citrus fruit that was imported, and all of these items were confirmed to be carrying the citrus canker pathogen.


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