Fruit fly trap checks stepped up

Hundreds of fruit fly traps will be checked daily and monitoring of the greater Auckland region will be stepped up following the discovery of a second Queensland fruit fly, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“I have asked Biosecurity New Zealand to check the hundreds of traps within the North Shore area of Auckland by the weekend instead of the internationally accepted practice of once a fortnight, then to expedite a check of all 2000 Queensland fruit fly traps across Auckland.

“We need to know what we are dealing with as the response ramps up at pace to ensure the fruit fly doesn’t establish here.

“We have an absolute commitment to tracking down and keeping New Zealand free of the harmful fruit fly, as we’ve done several times before including in 2015 when $16m was spent to get rid of a breeding population of 14 flies and larvae.

“We also have an absolute commitment to constantly scrutinise and update our biosecurity system in a world of growing trade, greater movement of people and a changing climate.

“Our multi-layered system includes the certified use of treatments overseas for imports, surveillance, X-ray technology, detector dogs and the efforts of our dedicated border staff.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries has, over the last few days, developed the terms of reference for its independent review of air and cruise passenger pathways and the Director General Ray Smith has appointed Australian Rob Delane to lead that.

“I thank those Aucklanders who have shown terrific community spirit over the past week and our vital industry stakeholders who help Biosecurity New Zealand in its important work,” Damien O’Connor said.

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