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Forest & Birds Welcomes Moth Decision

July 3, 2002

Forest And Birds Welcomes Painted Apple Moth Decision.

Forest and Bird welcomed today's Cabinet decision to continue with targeted aerial spraying of painted apple moth in Auckland. Forest and Bird is advocating for painted apple moth eradication because of the threat it poses to native forests.

The painted apple moth eradication programme has been in doubt since the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) put forward a proposal to Cabinet for long-term management of the pest.

"The decision to continue with targeted aerial spraying is great news for New Zealand's native forests," said Forest and Bird's Biosecurity Awareness Officer Geoff Keey.

"Painted apple moth chomps through a whole range of native trees. New Zealand has enough problems with the possum and doesn't need another Australian tree-muncher in our forests," he said.

Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton today announced that Cabinet would take more time to compare the options of continued eradication or long-term management of the pest.

"It is good to see Cabinet taking its time. A hasty decision to end eradication could be disastrous for our forests," he said.

"Forest and Bird acknowledges that the eradication programme has been inconvenient for Aucklanders. It is important that any concerns are addressed," he said.

"However, people also have to ask how painted apple moth got here in the first place. Unless New Zealand prevents dirty containers from reaching New Zealand, we will be forever mopping up other new pests after they arrive," he said.


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