South Australia fruit fly outbreak 'unlikely' to hit commercial growers, says govt -

South Australia fruit fly outbreak 'unlikely' to hit commercial growers, says govt

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South Australia fruit fly outbreak 'unlikely' to hit commercial growers, says govt

The South Australian government has established a 1.5km (0.93mi) quarantine zone in the southern Adelaide suburb of Clarence Park, after Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae was found in home-grown peaches.

An eradication plan is now in place, and in a release the state's Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said the discovery was unlikely to impact commercial growers or affect South Australia's fruit fly-free status.

"Residents and businesses within the quarantine zone will receive information about the outbreak and associated quarantine and how they can prevent its spread," Bignell said.

"Mediterranean fruit fly doesn’t normally exist in South Australia and must have been brought into our state from infested fruit from Western Australia.

"South Australia continues to be the only mainland state or territory which is free of both Mediterranean and Queensland fruit fly."

Bignell highlighted his government was using "every weapon possible" to protect and defend the state's precious crops.

"South Australia’s fresh fruit and vegetables – including wine grapes and almonds – have an estimated farm gate value of (AUD)$1.1 billion (US$793 million)," he said.

"As part of our arsenal we have invested in a Sterile Insect Facility which is being built at Port Augusta. The facility will be used to breed 50 million sterile Queensland fruit flies each week. The sterile males attempt to mate with females, collapsing the population."

Mr Bignell said the person who discovered the larvae rang the fruit fly hotline, proving how early reporting was vital in successful eradication.

Anyone inside the quarantine area can help with eradication by:

  • Not giving away or moving any fruit or fruiting vegetables, including tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants unless cooked or preserved
  • Not leaving fruit or fruiting vegetables lying on the ground
  • Not composting any fruit or fruiting vegetables, including those purchased from a shop

If no further wild flies or larvae are detected it is anticipated the quarantine in Clarence Park would be lifted on May 19, 2016.



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