2018-24 - Horticulture Exports Program – Detection of Citrus canker and guide for visual inspections

21 June 2018

Purpose

This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise authorised officers of the recent detections of Citrus canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Canker) and the additional information available to guide visual inspections for presence of Citrus canker.

Summary of changes and key points

  • Citrus canker is an exotic disease that has previously been eradicated from Australia.
  • There has been a detection of Citrus canker, restricted to the home and garden sector, in some areas of Northern Territory and Western Australia.
  • Citrus canker has not been found in any commercial/production orchards.
  • New Zealand has requested additional declarations for freedom from Citrus canker.
  • Plant Health Australia has previously developed fact sheets that will assist authorised officers with inspecting goods for the presence of Citrus canker.

Background

Citrus canker is a serious disease of citrus and is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (also known as X. axonopodis pv. citri, and X. campestris pv. citri). Citrus canker infects a plant through wounds and natural openings on leaves, stems, thorns and fruit. The disease presents as lesions or cankers at infection sites and severely impacts fruit quality and yield.

Citrus Canker has been detected in the home and garden sector in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. It has not been found in any commercial/production orchard.

The department is working closely with state and territory governments and industry to eradicate this serious disease.

New Zealand has requested additional declarations on phytosanitary certificates to ensure the goods originate from an area free from Citrus canker.

Authorised officer responsibilities

Authorised officer must continue to inspect fresh citrus fruit for export as per departmental guidelines. Authorised officers are also encouraged to review the fact sheets on Citrus canker developed by Plant Health Australia.

If an authorised officer detects anything unusual they must call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Authorised officers must ensure that the current conditions on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements have been met prior to declaring goods are export compliant.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email Horticulture Exports Program.

Mr David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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