Eradication of the Anoplophora glabripennis outbreak at Paddock Wood, United Kingdom
In a recent paper, Eyre and Barbook (2021) explained how the outbreak of Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae – EPPO A1 List) discovered in 2012 at Paddock Wood (Kent) has been successfully eradicated. This outbreak was discovered in 2012 on a site that was adjacent to the premises of a stone importer that had stored wooden crates associated with imported stones. In 2007, an amateur entomologist had reported an adult A. glabripennis near this site (approximately 0.5 km away), but as the beetle was not caught the record could not be confirmed. In October 2009, an adult A. glabripennis was caught in a garden adjacent to the stone importer and reported to the NPPO. Surveys were conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2011 but no signs of the insect could be found. In 2012, scientists from Forest Research joined the survey and A. glabripennis larvae were detected in a Salix cinerea tree close to the garden where the beetle had been found in 2009.
The eradication campaign involving plant health and forestry authorities was initiated in 2012, based on a draft national contingency plan for Anoplophora chinensis, on EU emergency measures for A. chinensis, and the experience from other countries managing outbreaks of A. glabripennis in the EU and in North America. The sequence of events that took place during the eradication campaign is presented, and the paper provides details on how surveillance activities were conducted over the years, using visual inspections, tree climbers, pheromone traps, trap trees and sniffer dogs. Authors also explain how infested and potentially infested trees were felled, inspected and destroyed in a safe way. Restrictions on the movement of host plant material were enforced by means of statutory plant health notices issued to individual landowners.
In parallel to surveys, communication campaigns were organized. They included meetings with local residents, arborists and other professionals, school visits, distribution of leaflets, interviews with local and national media, and press releases on a government website. The general public was also invited to look for and report any findings. Various tools were developed to communicate with the public and stakeholders, including posters, leaflets, a mobile app to report findings, specimens of A. glabripennis in acrylic blocks, a large model of A. glabripennis, and a photographic field guide. The impact of the eradication campaign at Paddock Wood on the local community has also been studied by interviewing 9 persons directly impacted by the removal of their trees and 2 officials involved in the eradication campaign. It revealed a tension between the need to act quickly to eradicate the pest and the interests of the local residents, as well as the necessity to involve local communities at a very early stage of an eradication campaign.
In 2019, after more than 3 years without any findings of the pest, the outbreak was officially declared eradicated. In conclusion to their paper, the authors present the lessons learnt during this eradication campaign, illustrating the complexity in organizing these activities in an effective and timely manner and the importance of public awareness.
Eyre D, Barbrook J (2021) The eradication of Asian longhorned beetle at Paddock Wood, UK. CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43170-021-00034-x