Tau fly update: No further flies found

Work continues in the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) response following the discovery late last week of a single Tau fly in one of the Ministry's fruit fly surveillance traps in Manurewa, Auckland.

58 field workers are in the area checking surveillance lure traps and collecting produce for inspection.

"No further Tau flies have been found," says the Ministry's Manager Surveillance and Incursion Investigation, Brendan Gould.

"We are focused on finding out if there is a population of these flies in the area. If one exists, we want to get rid of them as they pose a threat to some horticultural crops."

MPI has a Controlled Area in place extending 1.5 kilometres from the location of the fly find. There are 81 traps in the A Zone, a circular area extending 200m around where the fly was found, and 166 traps in the wider B Zone which extends out to 1500 metres from the find.

"Our traps are very efficient. If there are further flies present, these traps will find them."

While MPI works to rule out the presence of any population, residents in the Controlled Area are asked to ensure certain fruits and vegetables (see below) are not moved from their property, other than into disposal bins provided. There are 135 disposal bins conveniently located throughout the area.

A full list of the restricted produce is at: www.mpi.govt.nz/tau-fly

To find out if your home or business is inside the Controlled Area, visit the MPI website www.mpi.govt.nz/tau-flyy and enter your street address into the online search function.

Tau flies like to feed on pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, capsicum, zucchini, beans, mangoes, eggplant, papaya and passionfruit.

Please don't move this produce from the Controlled Area, unless you've bought it from an MPI-approved store. Approved retailers will seal the produce in a plastic bag for safe transportation. To date there is one approved retailer - the Countdown Manurewa at 227 Browns Road. MPI will update approved retailers on its website.

"We appreciate that restrictions can be inconvenient but public support is vital to success and we've always had terrific community buy-in," Mr Gould says.

Over the past few days MPI staff have contacted all retailers in the Controlled Area that sell fresh produce and informed them about the movement restrictions. The Ministry has also contacted local schools, pre-schools and churches.

"We will be working closely with schools as the new school year begins to make sure parents have good information about what can and can't go into school lunchboxes."


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