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Cabinet Delay On Painted Apple Moth

Forest And Bird Welcomes Cabinet Delay On Painted Apple Moth

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society has welcomed the Cabinet's deferral of a decision on the future of the painted apple moth eradication programme.

Ian Gear, the Acting Director of Forest Biosecurity for MAF sent a notice this afternoon advising that Cabinet had deferred a decision on the options for the programme and stated that Cabinet had requested further information from MAF.

"Forest and Bird welcomes the news that Cabinet has not made a hasty decision to end the eradication of the painted apple moth," said Forest and Bird Biosecurity Awareness Officer Geoff Keey.

At this stage it is not known when Cabinet will reconsider the matter.

"It is important that the government remains focussed on the goal of eradication as long term management is unlikely to work," he said.

"The eradication programme to date has been expensive and controversial. There is a lesson in this. Government should put an increased focus on preventing future pest invasions through improved border control. The Government should commit to more used car and shipping container inspections and off-shore decontamination where possible," he said.

"Better border control will protect New Zealand's environment and save money in the long term."



Contact Forest and Bird for a copy of the MAF notice.

According to preliminary analysis funded by MAF, painted apple moth will munch on karaka, two kowhai species, mangrove, two ribbon wood species, three beech species and ten native broom species.

Native beech forests provide habitat for kiwi as well as protecting soil and water quality.

Painted apple moth attacks important and threatened native species. Many native broom species are rare or threatened with extinction. Native brooms also provide important habitat for other threatened species such as the red katipo spider.

Geoff Keey Biosecurity Officer Forest and Bird PO Box 631 Wellington 04 385 7374 g.keey@wn.forest-bird.org.nz www.forest-bird.org.nz

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