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Thursday 12 February 2004
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today announced new
measures it would be applying immediately to reduce risks associated with
pine pitch canker (Fusarium circinatum) establishing in New Zealand.
"All areas within the US are now considered by MAF as not being
free of pine pitch canker," MAF's acting forest biosecurity director
Ian Gear said.
"This means that all nursery stock of Pinus species or Douglas Fir
(Pseudotsuga menziesii) will be prohibited entry into New Zealand. Imports
of sawn timber or poles from these species will now also be prohibited
unless they have been treated to 70o Celsius (core temperature) for four
continuous hours or kiln-dried to less than 20 percent moisture content at
temperatures exceeding 56o Celsius."
These new measures follow a MAF review after pine pitch canker was
intercepted in November 2003 on Douglas Fir cuttings being propagated in a
secure quarantine facility near Christchurch.
"At that time MAF responded by suspending all permits to import
Douglas Fir cuttings or similar material from the US and ordering the
destruction of the infested consignment. MAF's initial diagnosis was
recently confirmed by Professor Tom Gordon, UCLA Davis, California.
"This event proves the value of New Zealand's quarantine system as
an effective means of ensuring that imported organisms are free of
unwanted pests and diseases before they are released into our
ecosystems," Ian Gear said.
A copy of MAF's full report is available on the MAF web site.
Media contact: Brett Sangster, MAF Director Corporate Communications
Phone: 0-4-498 9882 or 0-27-247 8777 Email: email@example.com