MORE than 100 farmers have signed a petition to stop the destruction of healthy olive and almond trees in Alicante.
This is in response to Valencian officials from the Ministry of Agriculture enacting EU plans to eradicate the plant virus, Xylella fastidiosa, which has damaged a massive amount of olive and almond trees across Europe.
Under current plans more trees than are infected have to be cut down.
But farmers feel these plans are not effective and have called on the Spanish government to publish the results of 7,000 test samples so the true scope of the disease can be understood.
The farmers, part of The Platform for those Affected by Xylella fastidiosa (AXFA), say current eradication plans mark the ‘beginning of the end of our forests, and of our people’.
AXFA spokesman Adolfo Ribes said: “The Valencian administration has not dared to defend us, neither before the rest of the autonomous communities of our country, nor before our Ministry nor before Brussels.
“Razing all of the trees, both healthy and sick, is not the solution.
“The infestations have spread to three regions, and there is a high probability that new outbreaks will be announced soon.”
This is the fifth outbreak of the plant virus in the region since June after it ran riot in southern Italy last year, to which it is still recovering.