Fera launches Bemisia tabaci consultation

Fera has launched a consultation on the future of the UK's Protected Zone status against Bemisia tabaci.

Bemisia tabaci is a worldwide pest and virus vector which is not established in the UK but, according to Fera, could become a serious pest in protected environments, particularly glasshouse salad crops such as tomato and cucumber.

European populations of B. tabaci are listed in the EU Plant Health Directive 2000/29/EC Annex 1B as harmful organisms whose introduction into, and spread within, certain PZs shall be banned.

The UK is currently one of a limited number of EU Member States, including Finland, Ireland, Sweden and certain areas of Portugal that remain free of B. tabaci and maintain PZ status against this pest.

The UK has had sporadic outbreaks of the pest at protected ornamental propagators, but all have been eradicated.

Given the period of time since the PZ status was last reviewed (2000), the continuation of outbreaks since then and the reduction of control options, Fera said it was appropriate to review the current policy to establish whether it remains justified.

The consultation will help to review the advantages and disadvantages of the UK's PZ status to determine a position for the future.

Further information:

    * Consultation letter
    * List of consultees
    * Consulation paper
    * Pest Risk Analyses for consultation on pest risk management

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