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First a mite, now a moth

First a mite, now a moth

The decision to dump eradication of the Gum Leaf Skeletoniser Moth in favour of 'long-term management' opens the door to another varroa bee mite disaster, says National's Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

"Yet again, the country's primary industry is being jeopardised by a dangerous foreign moth that can't be eradicated or controlled.

"This is the latest in a line of seemingly unstoppable invasions - from the varroa bee mite, to the painted apple moth to aphids infesting our lettuce crops.

"When is the Government going to learn that it should be prevention, not just cure with biosecurity?

"A "long-term management" programme by MAF will do nothing to stop the Gum Leaf Skeletoniser Moth spreading, as the varroa bee mite has done.

"And at what cost? It's been estimated that the spread of the bee mite to the South Island would cost over $300 million over 35 years.

"This problem is clearly no longer just a nuisance to our economy. It's fast becoming a major threat to our delicate agricultural balance and it's our farmers and growers who will end up paying the price," says Mr Ardern.

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