Snakes and creepy crawlers slip into NZ
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 8:22a.m.
A single Queensland fruit fly sparked a major biosecurity alert in Auckland earlier this year, but a venomous snake, a python, scorpions and other creepy crawlers have slipped into New Zealand without fanfare.
There have been 546 biosecurity incursions in the past four years, according to Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) figures released to Fairfax NZ News and 176 have prompted officials to move to eradicate the pests.
The 54 incursions recorded so far this year include a large diamond python which was destroyed after being found in Auckland and a common brown snake, considered to be the second most venomous land snake in the world, found in Mid-Canterbury this year.
Four years ago an Australian marbled scorpion was found in Mid-Canterbury and another one was found in the Otago Lakes District.
Biosecurity officials did not move to eradicate the scorpions but the MPI said in cases where pests weren't part of a breeding colony or posed no risk to New Zealand's ecosystem, no action was taken, Fairfax reports.
Veronica Herrera, the ministry's response and investigation and diagnostic centre director, said only a small percentage of the organisms found were part of a breeding population.
"And of those, not all present a significant economic or environmental impact as to require action by the ministry."
Foreign lizards, frogs, ants, mites and types of fungus were other invaders dealt with by biosecurity officials.
The single male Queensland fruit fly found in Avondale in May cost taxpayers $1.5 million before officials found no evidence of others in the area. It also led to a verbal spat between Horticulture New Zealand and Primary Industries Minister David Carter about the nation's biosecurity system.
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18/08/2012 4:04:44 p.m.
a couple of my work mates and i found what we thought to be a Queensland fruit fly, it was the exact same size color and had all the markings, we took photos of it rang the hot line and then sent all the info in, and nothing not even a call back email nothing, and we kept the fly for a bit too, maybe it was a hoax, real world testing? but this thing we found was like no other ive seen
17/08/2012 7:30:44 p.m.
I think that the National Government must be held accountable for this disaster. This Government has made drastic cuts in most Government Depts not least in Bio Security. Staff in Bio Security or Customs and what was the then MAF cannot be expected to provide such thorough investigative procedures given the reduction in Budget Constraints and Human Resources to detect such incursions. I would shudder to think if such a epidemic like "Foot and Mouth" crept in to New Zealand. This disease would cripple the New Zealand Meat Industry. All because this Government regard Bio Security as a service that requires limited Budget Resources.
17/08/2012 5:54:28 p.m.
Kathryn Davie wrote:
My understanding was that that bfruitfly was planted to keep someone in their job and that it had happened before with the same person?
17/08/2012 4:16:20 p.m.
Hoani Ropoama wrote:
bugger that fruit fly gets priority over all those creepy crawlies should be zero tolerance over all creepies.
17/08/2012 1:56:05 p.m.
Agree with DIVADAYS. Kill them - we have the one last land on earth where you can walk barefoot and walk in shorts in the bush without leaches. Just a dew non breeding so what. It will just be the one bad luck person (Me LOL) that will walk right on top of that non breeding scorpion. In the middle of nowhere, out of cellphone reach, 300km from the nearest doctor who funny enough does not have an antidote for scorpion stings.
17/08/2012 1:50:46 p.m.
I can't believe they are ok with pests like this, who are dangerous, being let into our safe little country!
17/08/2012 11:56:29 a.m.
This is a joke. they will spend millions trying to eradicate pests, but not on proper boarder control.... go figure!!!!!
17/08/2012 11:52:50 a.m.
yip,and a bunch of black widows in papakura...thank god it was winter and not summer because they are pretty dormant in the cold
17/08/2012 9:43:09 a.m.
Right. So they allow scorpions in..which can cause serious harm and or death (I haven't searched for info on this breed) and they do nothing to get rid of them?????? I LIKE the fact that we can walk barefoot in bushland/paddocks/outdoors in general!! Great. Way to go BioSecurity..way to KNOWINGLY put us and our future generations at risk. Just because it isn't a bloody stoat or a python, doesn't mean you shouldn't KILL THEM!!! Go back down there and eradicate the blighters. SHEESH.
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