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Govt and industry firming up Psa action plan

Hon David Carter

Minister for Biosecurity

15 November 2010

Media Statement

Govt and industry firming up Psa action plan

A programme of ‘aggressive containment’ is the immediate action in the battle against Psa disease in the Bay of Plenty, says Biosecurity Minister David Carter.

“Obviously eradication of the disease is what we all want and this is certainly not being ruled out. But with around 500 hectares now infected eradication is looking increasingly difficult, at least in the short term.”

Thirteen kiwifruit orchards have now tested positive for Psa and 16 orchards have been quarantined.

“MAF and the kiwifruit industry are working in tandem on containment measures, including removal of infected plant material and its safe disposal; spraying infected vines; orchard hygiene measures; controls of the use of artificial pollen and advice on the use of beehives for pollination; and controls on the movement of people and equipment around infected properties," says Mr Carter.

“Eradication of Psa versus containment or management is a fast-changing situation, but both MAF and industry agree aggressive containment is the best option for now.

“The Government is fully committed to working with industry on this issue and all necessary resources are being made available to fight the disease.”

Mr Carter says the response to Psa is likely to require a significant financial commitment from both the Government and the kiwifruit industry.

“It is not possible to put any figure on this at this stage, but significant resources and considerable support are already being put into the battle against Psa.”

Mr Carter will hold further meetings with kiwifruit industry representatives on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

ENDS

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