The Australia Department of Agriculture has issued a quarantine alert for South Korea pears following the detection of fire blight in the Asian nation.
Imports of fresh pears for human consumption have been suspended until further notice, according to an alert released by the department on 10 June.
Peak industry body Apple and Pear Australia (APAL) has applauded the government’s decision to suspend trade to prevent an outbreak of fire blight within Australia.
“Fire bight is a disease that can decimate apple and pear orchards and if it gets into Australia it would devastate our industry,” John Dollission, APAL CEO said in a company statement. “Australia is fortunate not to have fire blight – and we want to keep it that way to protect our orchards and growers.”
Australia has imported small volumes of nashi pears from Korea since 1999, with 82 tonnes of pears imported in 2014, up 49 per cent from 2013.