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Painted Apple Moths, Varroa and now Scorpions

Shane Ardern National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

6 January 2005

Painted Apple Moths, Varroa Bee Mites, Southern Saltmarsh Mosquitoes, and now Scorpions

National Party Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern is slamming the Government's slack attitude to biosecurity after the discovery of yet another dangerous pest.

Yesterday a scorpion in Auckland's domestic airport terminal bit a young man.

Mr Ardern says no one wants scorpions to take up permanent residence here, but unless the Government improves surveillance co-ordination and equipment they just might.

"The Government has repeatedly ignored calls for better co-ordination in biosecurity.

"There is a need for better co-ordination between the biosecurity and customs departments if we are going to stop dangerous pests, like scorpions, slipping through the cracks."

Mr Ardern is also concerned the equipment being used to check for breaches is either not being used properly or is not up to scratch.

"The x-ray machines are supposed to pick-up bio-mass the size of a matchstick, but it has obviously failed to do so in this case."

Mr Ardern says the Government is clearly unwilling, or unable, to acknowledge that there is a problem and give biosecurity the priority it deserves.


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