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Whangarei Queensland fruit fly: Operations update 10

Whangarei Queensland fruit fly: Operations update 10

7 February 2014

To date, no further fruit flies have been found.

After a single male Queensland fruit fly was found in one of the Ministry’s surveillance traps on 21 January 2014, restrictions on the movement of fruit and some vegetables out of a specified Controlled Area were put in place to prevent any spread of the insect, should a wider population of the fly be present.

MPI thanks the Whangarei community for its ongoing support in complying with these restrictions.

The Controlled Area comprises two zones - Zone A (a 200m circular zone around the find location) and Zone B (a wider circular zone extending out 1.5km from the find location).

Whole fruit and some vegetables (excluding leafy and root vegetables) cannot be moved outside of the Controlled Area.

Field work in Whangarei today involves teams checking surveillance traps and collecting fruit and vegetables from home gardens and disposal bins for analysis.

A field laboratory is in place examining fruit and vegetable samples collected from within the affected area and will identify any suspect insects collected.

MPI expects results from today’s testing to come through early this evening (after 7pm).

Provided no further fruit flies are found in this round of testing, MPI will be able to lift the restrictions on fruit and vegetable movement from tomorrow (Saturday 8 February).

MPI will notify the community by tomorrow morning.

239 wheelie disposal bins are in place at private homes and key locations throughout the Controlled Area so residents can dispose of any fruit or vegetables or produce waste. MPI is collecting these, taking some material for analysis and safely disposing of the material.

The Queensland fruit fly is an unwanted and notifiable organism that could have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry and home gardens. It can damage a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

There have been no adverse reactions by trading partners to the detection of the single fruit fly.

ENDS

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