The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia has confirmed the detection of citrus canker on three properties in the State’s north, linked to imported plants from the Northern Territory.
The department has conducted tracing and testing of plants imported from Darwin, where citrus canker has been detected.
Department Biosecurity Executive Director Mia Carbon said test results had confirmed the disease in citrus plants which were traced to two retail businesses at Kununurra. It has also been confirmed in a citrus plant at a property at Wyndham.
“The infected plants on the properties have been removed and destroyed to minimise the risk of the disease spreading,” Dr Carbon said.
“Citrus canker is a serious disease that can affect all citrus, and it is vital we work together with industry and the Kununurra and Wyndham communities to contain this disease and protect our important citrus production.
“We will be providing further information to industry and local residents on containment and control measures as the response progresses.”
Citrus canker does not affect human health or animals, and affected fruit is safe to be consumed.
Dr Carbon said the department would work closely with Northern Territory authorities to coordinate response activities and follow national emergency plant pest arrangements.
Anyone with citrus plants is asked to check them for symptoms, particularly anyone who has purchased wholesale or retail plants from Darwin or Kununurra.
The symptoms of citrus canker include blister-like lesions on leaves, stems and fruit that are raised, tan to brown in colour, and are surrounded by an oily, water-soaked margin and a yellow ring or halo. Large or older lesions may have a crater-like appearance.
Plants with suspect symptoms must not be moved and should be reported to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the department’s MyPestGuide ReporterTM app.
The department recently introduced import restrictions to suspend the entry of plants, plant material and fruit of the Rutaceae family, which includes all citrus, from the Northern Territory.
More information on citrus canker is available from the department website agric.wa.gov.au