Queensland Fruit Fly Are Not Confined To Queensland

Queensland Fruit Fly Are Not Confined To Queensland

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Fruit fly Outbreak Declared In The Goulburn Valley

Victor P Taffa

Seasonal Conditions have created a high risk of Queensland fruit fly in the Goulburn Valley, with an outbreak declared on the North Side of Shepparton, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said today.

Mr. Walsh said the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) had declared a 15-km suspension zone centred on the outbreak detection site, to regulate the movement of locally-produced host fruit from the suspension zone to Melbourne and other sensitive markets.

Mr. Walsh said it was possible that further outbreaks would be declared in the Goulburn Valley.

“The warm, humid conditions being experienced this summer mean that the pest can rapidly complete its life cycle and build in population.” Mr. Walsh said.

“Shepparton is a major fruit production area within the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone (FFEZ), so it is critical to prevent the pest from spreading.”

“There are a number of other outbreaks across Northern Victoria at present which highlight the need for residents and travellers to be vigilant.” Mr. Walsh said.

“The Community plays a vital role in preventing these outbreaks by reminding visitors not to bring fruit to the Region.”

“It is also of utmost importance that backyard fruit trees are maintained and fruit is not left lying on the ground.” Mr. Walsh said.

DPI Senior Plant Standards Officer Bill Ashcroft said an eradication program would be commencing shortly within a 1.5 km radius from the Shepparton outbreak detection site, and a leaflet describing the program would be delivered to affected properties.

“We encourage householders to help by providing easy access to their backyards for our officers and by not removing any home-grown fruit from their property unless it is treated by cooking the fruit to kill any fruit fly maggots.” Mr. Ashcroft said.

“Residents should also remind visitors not to take uncertified fruit from the area.” Mr. Walsh said.

Most fruits (including stone and pome fruit, citrus, berries, grapes, tomatoes, capsicums and chillies) can play host to Queensland fruit fly.