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No further fruit flies detected

No further fruit flies detected

• Following two days of trap inspections from Zone A of the Controlled Area, no fruit fly have been detected. Traps in Zone A are cleared daily and traps in Zone B are cleared and examined every three days.

• Fruit collected from properties near the fruit fly detection has been examined with no fruit fly detected. Members of the public have submitted four insects to MPI, and none were fruit flies.

• MPI will release a regular update late morning each day reporting the previous day’s trapping results, unless there is a significant find.

• 60 staff are out in the field today and approximately 50 staff are working on the response in Wellington.

• As previously reported, there are restrictions on the movement of fruit and some vegetables out of a defined Controlled Area around where the single male Queensland fruit fly was found on April 1. The Controlled Area is a circular zone extending 1.5km from the location of the fly find in Parihaka and takes in areas of Parihaka, Riverside and central Whangarei.

• Whole fruit and vegetables (except for leafy and root vegetables) cannot be moved out of the Controlled Area, although fruit and veges can be carried into the Area.

• The restrictions are an important precaution while MPI investigates whether any further flies are present. If there are undetected flies out there, the measures will help prevent their spread out of the area.

• The Whangarei Countdown supermarket in Okara Drive and the PAK’nSAVE Supermarket in Walton Street are outside the Controlled Area and sales of fruit and vegetables continue as usual.

• MPI asks that people who have bought fruit and vegetables outside the Controlled Area (for example in these supermarkets or the weekly local farmers market), but need to travel through this area, ensure that the produce is in plastic bags for the journey.

• Full information about the Controlled Area and the restrictions, including maps and full instructions is at: www.mpi.govt.nz – follow the fruit fly button.

• MPI is now running an extensive response trapping network, as set out in an internationally- validated standard, to lure any fruit flies that may be present. Gardens and rubbish bins in the Controlled Area are being inspected for any signs of fruit flies.

• The Controlled Area comprises two zones – Zone A extends 200m from the site of the detection and Zone B goes from that 200m boundary out to 1500m.

• There are now 113 response traps in Zone A and 197 response traps in Zone B. The original fruit fly was found in a surveillance trap that is part of MPI’s national surveillance programme. There are 13 of these routine surveillance traps in the Controlled Area.

• Traps from Zone A are being checked daily and traps from Zone B are being cleared every three days.

• The next results of examinations of the Zone A traps will be available tomorrow morning Tuesday 8 April. The Zone B traps are planned to be inspected (for the first time) tomorrow and those results should be available on the morning of Wednesday 9 April.

• Residents in the Controlled Area have been advised to dispose of all fruit and vegetable waste through in-sink waste disposal units (where they have them) or in bins provided by MPI. There are 218 of these MPI disposal bins in the Controlled Area and at other high-risk sites. MPI is emptying the bins and safely disposing of the material.

• MPI has field laboratory facilities in place examining fruit collected from gardens in the Controlled Area and also to identify any suspect insects collected. Again, no further fruit flies have been found.

Background information about MPI border protection
In response to the recent Queensland fruit fly detections in Whangarei (in both January and this current April find), plus as part of routine adjustments to its operations, MPI has boosted biosecurity activities at our key international airports, international mail centre and transitional facilities in Auckland and Whangarei. Current activities include:

• biosecurity quarantine inspectors have increased their questioning and risk assessment of passengers from risk areas (i.e. Australia and French Polynesia) at all international airports. This will lead to an increase in passengers directed for inspection or x-ray screening

• detector dogs are being used more, including on cruise ships arriving at Opua, Tauranga and Auckland.

• there is also 100 percent dog coverage on high risk mail items at Auckland International Mail Centre

• the 18 Transitional Facilities in Auckland that currently receive fruit fly host material will be audited to check that they are running to requirements and to raise awareness of fruit fly.

• While there are no fresh produce transitional facilities in Whangarei, all transitional facilities in Whangarei will be visited as a precautionary measure to check compliance with MPI requirements and to raise awareness of fruit fly. See here for a description of ‘transitional facility’:http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/regs/trans

• An audit of vessel waste disposal procedures is underway.

As a matter of course, all produce imports to New Zealand are made under strict biosecurity requirements – generally treatment pre-shipment or with certification from exporting governments that the produce complies with MPI’s rules.
All commercial vessel traffic into the Whangarei area enters and receives biosecurity clearance at Marsden Point, well away from Whangarei city.
There are virtually no imports of fruit fly host material through Marsden Point. Cargo imports through Marsden Point are typically bulk liquids, fertilisers and stock feed.
Arriving yachts into Northland receive biosecurity clearance at either Opua or Marsden Cove and have been inspected and cleared of any fruit or vegetables before moving to the upper harbour.


Ends

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