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EU strengthens action against palm weevils

Stricter control measures, including insecticide treatments, are to be introduced in the EU to combat red palm weevils ( Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), which attacks date, coconut and areca palms. The pest came into the region through imports and is present in Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Affected EU member states are now obliged to combine several measures to contain and eradicate the insect, including inspections, destruction of heavily infested plants, and insecticide treatments. In addition, the revisions to the existing strategy will allow member states to use new “sanitation techniques” whenever saving palm trees is a possible alternative to their destruction. EU financial support will be available for the national eradication campaigns.

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