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MAF detects fruit fly eggs at the border

DATE 13 September 2006

MAF detects fruit fly eggs at the border

A number of cucumber fruit fly eggs (Tephritidae Bactrocera cucumis) were found on Monday 11 September in a rock melon consignment from Australia.

Biosecurity New Zealand Group Manager Clive Gower-Collins said MAF Quarantine staff discovered the eggs in a rock melon consignment at Auckland Airport and trade was stopped immediately.

He says there is scientific evidence available on the fruit fly genus which indicates that, even if the eggs in this single consignment had not been detected at the border, these would have been unlikely to flourish here given our cool climate at this time of the year.

“Having said that if this fruit fly was to become established it would have a significant effect on our fresh produce trade.”

Mr Gower-Collins says MAF staff worked closely with Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to isolate the pathway which allowed the fruit fly eggs to arrive at the border.

“We have already traced and identified the source of the affected rock melon and the grower and packhouse concerned have had further consignments planned for export stopped.

“We have also spoken directly with importers plus the New Zealand Fruit Growers Association, Horticulture New Zealand and Market Access Solutions who represent a wide range of producers to assure them we are actively managing this matter.”

For further information concerning fruit fly or any other biosecurity risk visit www.biosecurity.govt.nz

ENDS

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