Northern Territory industry fights to become citrus canker free

Australia’s Northern Territory citrus industry is determined to prove it remains free from citrus canker. The Northern Territory Government implemented the National Response Plan version five, which was developed and implemented this year.

This recent version is focused on verification of absence and proving freedom in the NT by the end of 2020 with the overall aim and outcome to remove regulatory measures across Australia and return to baseline surveillance.

Apart from outlining the plans for continued surveillance, the document also details the work that has gone into bringing the dreaded citrus disease under control. Delimitation and surveillance activities to support the eradication efforts were completed at the end of 2019.

During this phase of the program, 16 infected premises (IPs) were confirmed in the NT from 532 samples (32 positive) and more than 15,000 plant inspections. This resulted in the establishment of 13 restricted areas (RAs), consisting of a declared quarantine area within a 600m radius of an infected plant, and two larger control areas.

Not all property owners were cooperative to the control measures it seems, but the document shows that the program successfully resolved access to 240 properties for completion of surveillance and removal activities, where entry was initially refused.


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