Scientific Opinion on the risks to plant health posed by Phytophthora fragariae Hickman var. fragariae in the EU territory, with the identification and evaluation of risk reduction options
The Panel on Plant Health assessed the risk to plant health from Phytophthora fragariae for the European Union and evaluated the current EU legislation and possible risk reduction options. The pest is present in most areas of Europe except southern Mediterranean regions. Entry through the plants for planting, but not seeds, pathway, is assessed as a major pathway, with the probability of entry rated as unlikely and the uncertainty as high. The probability of establishment is likely in the absence of existing disease control practices with low uncertainty. The probability of spread in the absence of a scheme for the production of certified plants for planting is considered to be very likely. With certification, spread is considered to be unlikely to moderately likely, depending on the inclusion of testing for the pathogen as part of certification. These ratings have medium uncertainty. Potential impact is rated as minor with medium uncertainty. The Panel evaluated the effectiveness of current EU legislation regarding the introduction and spread of P. fragariae. According to the regulation the import of Fragaria plants for planting, other than seeds, is prohibited from specified countries, whereas for import of these plants from other countries and for movement of these plants within the EU special requirements with respect to P. fragariae must be fulfilled. If the current legislation specific to P. fragariaewere removed, no major consequences would be expected, unless the industry simultaneously ceased its voluntary certification activity. This is largely because of the important level of protection afforded to the industry by the widely used certification schemes for Fragaria, which significantly reduce the risks of entry, establishment, spread and impact. Certification schemes for the movement of Fragaria plants for planting offer the greatest efficiency and feasibility and the least uncertainty, especially if effective detection is incorporated into them.
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- Czech Republic