Defra alert to keep out ring rot

26 September 2001

Defra alert to keep out ring rot

By FWi staff

CHECKS are to be made on all imports of potatoes from Germany to guard against potato ring rot.

Eight consignments – amounting to 126 tonnes – of potatoes from Germany have recently been found to be carrying the bacterium that causes the highly contagious disease.

To combat the threat, Defra has introduced a requirement for the Plant Health Service to be notified at least two days before importing any potatoes from the country.

Inspectors will monitor the potatoes on arrival and take samples as necessary to make sure they are disease-free.

Although the variety was Saturna in all eight consignments found in the UK, German authorities have confirmed the disease has been seen in 30 other varieties.

This has worried UK industry organisations, who are increasingly concerned about the risks from this disease.

If it entered the UK, it is thought it would be extremely difficult to eradicate. Losses would arise from lower yields, costs of control measures, and reduced exports.

See more