Thursday, 03 April 2014 14:04

Fruit fly find serious: HortNZ

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HORTICULTURE NEW Zealand says it is unbelievable and unexpected that the country is faced with another Queensland fruit fly detection, so soon after the last one in January.

 

There have now been three detections in less than two years. Prior to May 2012, there had not been a Queensland fruit fly detection in New Zealand for 16 years.

"We have confidence in our system to detect any fruit fly at a very early stage and this system is critical for maintaining international market access for our products," HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says.

"But we do have to urgently look at how we are managing the biosecurity risk, so we don't keep finding this pest in our traps."

This is a serious situation for the entire New Zealand horticulture industry and also for all home gardeners.

"This is a pest that we don't want because it will impact on our ability to grow things, export produce and on the 50,000 jobs this industry provides across New Zealand.

"It is in everyone's interest to keep this pest out."

HortNZ knows this will be a tiresome situation for the local residents again caught in the immediate exclusion zones around where the fruit fly was found.

"But it's very, very important that they don't take fruit out of the control zone or swap or give fruit away to friends as often happens at this time of year," says Silcock.

"The two things that need to happen right now are firstly MPI needs to get the traps out in the immediate vicinity of this find and put in place measures to control the movement of host material. We are happy that MPI is swinging into action on that."

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