New location for testing of unknown or high-risk diseases

News publication date: 09 December 2020

Companies import and export their propagating material worldwide. These movements mean that an unwelcome or unknown exotic pest or disease sometimes enters our country. Or there is an outbreak of a new disease. Naktuinbouw has an important monitoring function on behalf of the NVWA. To ensure the safety of the plant material belonging to companies in our laboratories, an additional test facility was created on 20 November. We will start using this facility at the beginning of January.

Laboratories can quickly perform diagnostic testing, develop and implement a test in the event of calamities. The new location meets the most stringent requirements, including air treatment, air conditioning and controlled access. On the request of the NVWA, we can investigate outbreaks of unknown or high-risk diseases here. The new facility meets the current standards for a BPL III laboratory and is an extension of our testing capacity.

What will we do in the new facility?

Import shipments from countries outside the EU will be opened here and inspected for the presence of insects and (any) fungi or spores that spread through the air. If none are detected, we will take these samples to a contained facility (lab or greenhouse/propagation chamber) for further testing. These have been authorised with Biorisk Plant Class (BPC). We can also work in this facility with airborne quarantine fungi. Quarantine organisms are plant pathogens that are not yet present in the EU or are present but not widely distributed. They are deemed by EU legislation as being harmful to plant health.