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Biosecurity New Zealand – Situation Update 3

18 February 2019

A large field crew continues work in the Auckland suburb of Devonport today, focused on finding out if there is an incursion of the Queensland fruit fly in the area.

This follows the detection of a lone male fly in a surveillance trap in the area last week. Since then, no further flies have been found.

If it established here, the Queensland fruit fly could seriously harm the country’s fruit and vegetable crops and affect exports of some produce. If a population is found, work will progress to eradicate it.

Current work involves extending the network of traps; inspecting home gardens in the area for plants that could provide suitable habitat for fruit flies; taking fruit and vegetable samples for testing and providing information to local residents and visitors.

A legal Controlled Area is in place in Devonport, restricting the movement of certain fruit and vegetables from the area. Full detail of the Controlled Area and movement controls is at: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly

This is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of any fruit flies out of the area in the event a population is there.

Response staff are also working with local retailers to explain the detail of the movement controls and how they may impact their businesses. Local retailers are eligible to apply for compensation for verifiable losses incurred as a result of the legal directions.

If people in Devonport believe they have seen fruit flies or have found insect eggs or larvae inside fruit or vegetables, they should contact the response team on: 0800 80 99 66. Photos of the insect are on the Biosecurity New Zealand website.

The fruit fly response at a glance:
• More than 60 people are working in Auckland and this number continues to grow. Around 20 Biosecurity New Zealand staff are working from the National HQ in Wellington.
• Biosecurity New Zealand’s bio-secure mobile field laboratory is established at the Devonport Naval Base.
• Staff there are inspecting produce collected from the area for signs of fruit fly and larvae.
• Detailed information about the fruit and vegetable controls is being distributed in the area.
• Signs are up on key arterial roads and at the Devonport Ferry Terminal.
• Bins are going into the Controlled Area for local people to safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.

ends

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