Citrus canker confirmed on two Western Australia properties

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Citrus canker confirmed on two Western Australia properties

Western Australia's Department of Primary Industries (DPIRD) has confirmed the detection of citrus canker on two properties, linking it to imported plants from the Northern Territory, ABC News reported.

The region's producers and exporters have called for the Northern Territory's citrus trade to be halted until a quarantine has been set up and all plants within it destroyed.

Western Australia's Department of Primary Industries announced that the infected plants and other at-risk citrus plants on the Western Australian properties have been removed and destroyed.

Citrus canker has been detected on six properties in the Northern Territory, including one commercial production nursery and two retail outlets, with all citrus material being destroyed.

Grower Craig Pressler lost a significant portion of his orchard due to the outbreak in 2004, which saw millions of trees bulldozed and burned.

"They've adopted this 600-meter cookie cutter approach around the six infected properties, however, that has never been proved to be successful anywhere it was implemented," he was quoted as saying.

While the Northern Territory's chief plant health officer, Sarah Corcoran, said the outbreak was still classed as a very low-level infection, Pressler believes that trees will need to be destroyed if action isn't taken soon.

"Until we have an absolute clearance of citrus canker being identified during surveillance exercises by the department, we are going to have to maintain a ban of those goods going interstate," said Joe Saina, from the Australian Horticultural Exporters' Association.

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