Citrus canker is a contagious disease caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas citri sub species citri which can affect all citrus plants. Citrus canker affects the leaves, twigs and fruit, causing leaves and unripe fruit to drop. Over time, the plant can die. The disease can spread over short distances by wind and rain. It can also spread over longer distances by people moving infected plant material or equipment.
Citrus canker does not affect human or animal health.
Citrus canker was detected in Darwin, Northern Territory (NT), in April 2018, and in May 2018 in northern Western Australia (WA) resulting in a nationally coordinated response. For further information visit the national citrus canker response page.
Following extensive surveillance, tracing and destruction activities throughout 2018 and 2019, Western Australia was officially declared free of citrus canker on 22 November 2019.
See the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for more information.
On-the-ground response teams remain in place in the NT and are well positioned to complete eradication activities and demonstrate proof of freedom by the end of 2020.
Movement controls and quarantine measures to contain the disease remain in place in the NT.
See the Northern Territory’s Department of Primary Industry and Resources website for more information.
PIRSA Biosecurity SA has conducted surveillance and tracing activities for Citrus canker and the disease has not been found in South Australia.
What to do if you detect Citrus Canker
Early detection, reporting and not moving infected plants is vital, and will provide the best chance of eradicating this disease.
A movement control order (Importing commercial plants and plant products) is in place for Citrus canker and carriers which means that host plants, planting materials and equipment may not be brought into South Australia. An industry alert has also been issued. This is to prevent it spreading into South Australian produce areas.
In South Australia, Citrus canker is declared pest under the Plant Health Act 2009.
Do not touch the lesions or move plant material off your property – this can spread the disease.
Early detection and reporting of symptoms are the key to controlling this disease.
Be on the lookout for symptoms and report them to Exotic Pest Plant Hotline on 1800 084 881.