EFSA guidelines for emerald ash borer survey in the EU
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), by request of the European Commission, develops pest survey cards for pests of relevance for the European Union (EU) member states, summarizing key biological, epidemiological and diagnostic information relevant for the detection and identification of these pests by inspectors and laboratory technicians in the EU member states. For three pilot pests, including emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), detailed guidelines are being prepared for the survey planners in the EU member states. Interaction with experts on the relevant organisms and the member states is needed before and after implementation of the surveys to ensure they are fit for purpose and can be harmonized across the EU. An important feature of the survey cards is the identification of risk factors, to focus the surveys on the most likely areas to find the pest if it is present and thus being able to apply a risk-based surveillance. Since 2014, ash wood and bark (from countries where A. planipennis is known to occur) are subjected to specific requirements laid down in Council Directive 2000/29/EC, the beetle is unlikely to enter the EU via this pathway. However, it cannot fully be excluded that introductions have happened before these requirements came into force, without being detected until now. In addition, the beetle could already be present in new third countries without being noticed yet and thus not regulated. Furthermore, firewood from countries adjacent to Russia (Belarus, Ukraine) is not restricted. The beetle could also hitch-hike to the EU by various means of transport, in particular via highways and railroads. Given the above, surveys should focus on these areas.
License Holder: The Author(s) 2020
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