There has been some interest in this pest which is causing significant problems in Europe. Questions have been asked as to whether it could cause issues in the ornamental and food sectors in Canada and its status as a potentially regulated pest.
Rob Ormrod, CFIA’s Horticulture Specialist, Policy and Programs Branch, has provided this update:
- CFIA only regulates the grapevine pathway for Xylella fastidiosa (Pierce’s disease)
- Although there are cases where X. fastidiosa has been shown to occur in Canada, it is not believed that Canada has the climate for dramatic effects in the environment. More recently it was detected in association with an oak in Ontario that died of other causes.
- Canada cannot ship hosts to Europe because phytosanitary import requirements for X. fastidiosa (this requirement is now a number of years old)
- It is present in the United States, and Canada has never regulated the affected hosts. (other than grapevine)
- Surveys are not technically feasible as there are no consistent symptoms and a huge range of hosts.
- Diagnostics require host-specific testing.
- In Europe, the most at-risk species seems to be olive.
- CFIA understands that the U.S. industry has concerns about the EU surveys & think that it is too widespread to consider eradication.