Owing to its distribution in Switzerland, fireblight no longer meets the criteria for regulation as a quarantine organism (exception: protected zone in the canton of Valais). In 2018, the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) recommended regulation of the bacterium as a regulated non-quarantine pest (RNQP) on known host plant products (Malus, Pyrus, Cydonia, Sorbus etc.). These plants must still be free from fireblight if they are intended for commercial use (agricultural fruit production, ornamental plants). With the exception of the protected zone (canton of Valais), fireblight is no longer subject to notification or control obligations.
Until further notice, the import, production and marketing of the plants Cotoneaster, Photinia davidiana and Photinia nussia is prohibited throughout Switzerland on account of fireblight.
To ensure that agricultural pomaceous fruit production and plant production can continue to be protected against fireblight, the cantonal phytosanitary services may, in consultation with the Federal Office for Agriculture, designate areas in which measures must still be taken against the bacterium (goal = low infection pressure). In these “area with low pest prevalence”, host plant owners have surveillance, notification and control obligations. In the event of infection with fireblight, affected plant parts must be removed (by ripping off or pruning out) and appropriately destroyed. Plant clearance is, however, no longer mandatory.
Cantonal phytosanitary services can provide information on the location of “area with low pest prevalence” where official measures are required against fireblight.
The measures to be taken for the management of fireblight in the various areas in Switzerland are described in guidelines issued by the FOAG.