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Apple Moth eradication programme on right track

Painted Apple Moth eradication programme on the right track

18 October 2002

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials have updated Auckland Regional Council’s Parks and Heritage Committee on the Painted Apple Moth eradication programme this week.

Committee Chairman Bill Burrill says he is pleased to note that at long last Government had decided to make a serious attempt at eradicating the moth.

“This programme, as outlined, is along the lines of what we have been advocating for some considerable time” he says. “From an economic, ecological and public health perspective we cannot afford to see this pest becoming established.”

Cr Burrill says ARC support for an eradication programme that includes aerial spraying has always been dependent on MAF allocating sufficient resources to address health concerns.

“We are reassured that MAF is doing this and that they have staff available to answer any concerns people may have,” he says.

Officials from AgriQuality and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry explained the biology of the moth and outlined the next phase of the expanded aerial control programme.

Councillors learned that the moth has small, irritating hairs that can cause skin rashes in most people. This detrimental health impact is in addition to the damage the Painted Apple Moth can cause to native forests and crops which are vital to the economy. The Painted Apple Moth reproduces easily and would eventually infest the whole of New Zealand if left uncontrolled.

Anybody wanting further information on the moth or MAF’s eradication programme should call MAF on 0800 96 96 96.


ENDS

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