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RMD-12-07: Pest Risk Management Document to Deregulate Gymnosporangium fuscum Hedw. f., the cause of Pear Trellis Rust

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November 2013


As described by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) includes three stages: initiation, pest risk assessment and pest risk management. Initiating the PRA process involves identifying pests and pathways of concern and defining the PRA area. Pest risk assessment provides the scientific basis for the overall management of risk. Pest risk management is the process of identifying and evaluating potential mitigation measures which may be applied to reduce the identified pest risk to acceptable levels and selecting appropriate measures.

This Risk Management Document (RMD) includes a summary of the findings of a pest risk assessment and records the pest risk management process for the identified issue. It is consistent with the principles, terminology and guidelines provided in the IPPC standards for pest risk analysis which may be found at International Plant Protection Convention.

1.0 Executive Summary

Gymnosporangium fuscum Hedw. f., the plant pathogen that causes Pear Trellis Rust in pear and juniper plants, has been reported to be widely distributed in both Ontario and British Columbia. Eradication is not practical and the regulatory measures currently in place to prevent spread of this pathogen within Canada are no longer technically justified. This pathogen no longer meets internationally accepted criteria to be considered a regulated pest to Canada. Based upon this information and following consultation with stakeholders, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken the decision that all remaining measures that restrict the importation and domestic movement of plants for planting in order to prevent the spread of G. fuscum be removed, and that G. fuscum no longer be regulated in Canada.

2.0 Purpose

To deregulate the fungus Gymnosporangium fuscum Hedw. f., the causal agent of Pear Trellis Rust.

3.0 Scope

This Risk Management Document (RMD) is the formal record of the pest risk management decision taken based on the revision to "CFIA Pest Risk Assessment 1996-87: Pear Trellis Rust (Gymnosporangium fuscum)" and following completion of stakeholder consultations from March 29, 2012 to June 29, 2012.

The import requirements for specific plants or plant products may be obtained from the CFIA Automated Import Reference System.

4.0 Definitions, abbreviations and acronyms

Definitions for terms used in this document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms or the IPPC Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms at International Plant Protection Convention.

5.0 Background

Gymnosporangium fuscum is the fungus that causes Pear Trellis Rust, a plant disease of Juniperus spp. and Pyrus spp. In 1973, Canada established a G. fuscum regulated area in British Columbia (B.C.) and the movement of Juniperus spp. and Pyrus spp. from the regulated area to most regions of Canada was prohibited. The regulations were established to prevent the spread of this pathogen from B.C. to other pear growing areas of Canada. In 1985, certified nurseries were established within the regulated area and certified Juniperus spp. material was allowed to be moved to other areas of Canada, ensuring that trade could continue without additional restrictions.

In 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lifted the import restrictions related to G. fuscum. The USDA considered it more cost effective to control the disease by applying fungicides and by removing diseased host plant material, rather that than to continue regulating this pathogen. At that time, industry stakeholders in B.C. requested that Canada also consider deregulation in order to eliminate the costs associated with conducting annual G. fuscum surveys, obtaining movement certificates and maintaining approval as certified nurseries. In addition, Canadian nursery stock producers in infested areas requested improved access to markets in Canada and the U.S.

In 1997, based on a pest risk assessment indicating that G. fuscum had a low potential for impacting commercial pear and juniper production in Canada, especially when production is coupled with good management practices, Canada eliminated the G. fuscum prohibitions with respect to the importation of Juniperus spp. from all countries. Consultation with industry associations and the provinces in 1997-1999, indicated that, while many stakeholders supported deregulation of G. fuscum, stakeholders in the province of Ontario did not. As a result, this pest was not deregulated and import restrictions for Pyrus spp. plants for planting imported from California, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and domestic movement controls for both Pyrus spp. and Juniperus spp., remained in place until now.

5.1 Distribution

Since it was first identified on pear in Victoria in 1960, G. fuscum has spread and become established in the Lower Fraser Valley and southern Vancouver Island in B.C. Since 1999, G. fuscum has been reported in southern Ontario by scientists at Agriculture and Agrifood Canada (AAFC) and at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) and is now known to be present in several areas (Hambleton et al. 2010). This pest has an extended global distribution as well, and is also present in Asia, in countries in Northern Africa, in many European countries, and in several U.S. states.

5.2 Current CFIA regulations and phytosanitary import requirements

Gymnosporangium fuscum is included on Canada's List of Pests Regulated by Canada, and is also included in Schedule II of the Plant Protection Regulations (PPR). As a result, the movement of Juniperus spp. and Pyrus spp. plants (excluding seed and fruit) from an area of infestation identified pursuant to section 16 of the PPR to all other areas of Canada requires a movement certificate. These domestic measures are also outlined in Plant Health Directive D-97-01: Domestic Regulation of Pear Trellis Rust.

In 1997, Canada eliminated the G. fuscum prohibitions with respect to the importation of Juniperus spp. from all countries, and the Province of B.C. Pear Trellis Rust certification program was discontinued around the same time. Fruit trees may only be imported to Canada from approved nurseries in the U.S., Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Each of these countries has CFIA approved nurseries with virus certification programs, as described in directive D-94-35: List of Sources Approved to Export Fruit Tree and Grape Propagative Material to Canada. Changing the regulatory status of this pathogen will not change the requirement for fruit trees to originate from approved virus-certified nurseries. However, the requirement for these approved nurseries to remain Pest-Free Places of Production (PFPP) with respect to G. fuscum in order to ship Pyrus spp. to Canada would no longer be in place. With respect to the continental U.S., the only G. fuscum restrictions that are currently in place are for Pyrus spp. from California; plants must be dormant and defoliated at the time of shipping. This requirement will be lifted as a result of the deregulation of this pest.

5.3 Standards of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

The IPPC is specifically recognized as the international phytosanitary body within the World Trade Organization's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Its International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 19, Guidelines on Lists of Regulated Pests (2011), requires that pests regulated by National Plant Protection Organizations meet the criteria for quarantine or regulated non-quarantine pests.

To be considered a quarantine pest in accordance with the definition of the IPPC, an organism must be "a pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled". Official control for quarantine pests is defined as "the active enforcement of mandatory phytosanitary regulations and the application of mandatory phytosanitary procedures with the objective of eradicating or containment". All official control programs have elements that are mandatory in the sense that all persons are legally bound to perform the actions required. The scope of official control programs for quarantine pests is completely mandatory (e.g. official certification programs). At minimum, program evaluation and pest surveillance are required in official control programs to determine the need for and effect of control to justify measures applied at import for the same purpose. Measures applied at import should be consistent with the principles of non-discrimination (ISPM No. 5, Supplement No. 1, Guidelines on the interpretation and application of the concept of official control for regulated pests [2011]).

The fact that G. fuscum is not under official control, and due to the minimal economic impact this pest is predicted to have on the pear and juniper sectors, warranted that the CFIA consider whether this organism should continue to be categorized as a regulated pest to Canada.

5.4 Trade and Economic Impacts

6.0 Pest Risk Assessment Summary

In 1997 the Plant Health Risk Assessment Unit of the CFIA completed a Pest Risk Assessment for Pear Trellis Rust in which the following recommendations were made:

The 1997-1999 CFIA consultation on potential deregulation of G. fuscum was informed by this document.

7.0 Risk Management Considerations

Factors supporting the CFIA decision for deregulation:

8.0 Risk Management Decision

8.1 Stakeholder Consultation

From March 29, 2012 to June 29, 2012, the CFIA consulted on the possible deregulation of G. fuscum via a Risk Management Proposal that outlined the CFIA's rationale for considering deregulation of G. fuscum, the cause of Pear Trellis Rust. Horticulture industry stakeholders, including industry associations; nursery growers, apple growers, and fruit and vegetable growers; provincial and territorial partners; and the USDA were asked to provide comments and input regarding the proposed approach. No objections with regard to the proposal to deregulate G. fuscum were received, and key stakeholders (including the USDA, and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association) communicated support of the CFIA proposal to deregulate G. fuscum.

8.2 Decision

As G. fuscum is widely distributed in both Ontario and B.C. with eradication not being practical or technically justified, and as this pest can be readily controlled through management practices, the CFIA has taken the decision to no longer regulate G. fuscum, the cause of Pear Trellis Rust, in Canada.


Potential consequences:

Next steps:

An official notification will be sent out to our trading partners through the World Trade Organization (WTO) that G. fuscum is deregulated in Canada. As the decision to deregulate is in line with internationally agreed upon standards, and represents a lessening of requirements for trading partners to comply with Canadian phytosanitary regulations, the CFIA does not expect to receive any comments via the WTO opposing the decision to deregulate.

9.0 References

IPPC, 2011. International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, ISPM 05: Glossary of phytosanitary terms, (2011 Edition). Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, Rome, Italy.

IPPC, 2011. International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, ISPM 19: Guidelines on Lists of Regulated Pests, (2011 Edition). Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, Rome, Italy.

MacLatchy, I.A. 1997. Plant Heath Risk Assessment: Gymnosporangium fuscum (Pear trellis rust). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. PPD Request No. 96-87.

Moorman, G.W. 2012. Cedar Apple and Related Rusts on Ornamentals. Plant Disease Fact Sheet. Penn State Extension.

New Ornamental Pear Rust. January 2012. Pp.12-13 in NPDP News (National Plant Diagnostic Network), Volume 7 Issue 1,.

10.0 Endorsement

Approved by:

space for the signature of the Chief Plant Health Officer
Chief Plant Health Officer

Signature of the Chief Plant Health Officer is required only on completion of the pest risk management process, to indicate approval of the final decision. This section is included in the RMD after stakeholder consultation has occurred and a final decision is made.

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