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Asian Gypsy Moth Eradication More Cost-Effective

26 May 2005

Asian Gypsy Moth Eradication More Cost-Effective

Federated Farmers is pleased that the Asian Gypsy Moth has finally been eradicated from Hamilton, said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

A serious biosecurity threat to New Zealand's forestry industry, urban environment and indigenous forests, the Asian Gypsy Moth feeds on more than 600 plants and tree species, causing millions of dollars damage. The caterpillars infest trees, stripping them bare of foliage and exposing them to disease and in six weeks a single mature caterpillar can eat about one square metre of foliage.

"Eradication of this pest is in the nation's best interest and although the cost of $5.4 million for the eradication programme may seem expensive it should be viewed as an investment in protecting New Zealand's economic and environmental well-being," Mr Lambie said.

"It is almost always more cost-effective to eradicate serious pests or diseases if there is the technical ability to do so compared with the ongoing costs of managing pests when they are established

"New Zealand's biosecurity status is key to our competitive advantage. We strongly advocate continued investment in biosecurity systems and funding for eradication to ensure our country is protected from an ever increasing array of threats," said Mr Lambie.

ENDS


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