Growers' views sought on potential threat of imported glasshouse pests

Government plant health agency FERA has issued three new "rapid pest risk analyses" to the industry for consultation - a step which may lead to statutory measures to control the pests.

Pepper weevil larvae - image: ForestImages.org
Pepper weevil larvae - image: ForestImages.org

These include the pepper weevil (Anthonomus eugenii), a pest of sweet and chilli pepper found in North and Central America and Oceania which hit four Dutch glasshouses last summer.

FERA suggests that imported produce from these areas could lead to its establishment in UK protected horticulture, and warns: "Outbreaks in protected Capsicum production are likely to cause serious impacts because detection of even a serious outbreak can be difficult and there is no reliable method of control."

The tobacco mild green mosaic virus, meanwhile, also threatens UK pepper as well as tomato production. Widespread worldwide on a range of hosts, the virus is most likely to enter the UK through the ornamental plant trade, FERA has warned.

The documents are available from the FERA website. Comments are to be received by 26 March.


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