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Wednesday 12 May 2004
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has no further plans to use aerial treatment for Asian gypsy moth in Hamilton, MAF's director of forest biosecurity Peter Thomson said today.
Scientific and technical experts met recently and reviewed data from the 1,685 traps monitoring for evidence of gypsy moth in and around Hamilton. The traps have not shown any further evidence of gypsy moths.
"The unanimous advice from the scientific and technical experts was that as no further gypsy moth activity has been detected, there is no need to plan for further aerial operations," Peter Thomson said.
"As a result of decisive actions against the gypsy moth incursion over the past 12 months, the need for further aerial treatment against the moth is not seen as necessary. It appears clear that the aerial operations, trapping and establishment of a vegetation control programme have been effective.
"We will continue monitoring almost 900 traps over the next 12 months. If any further moths are trapped the first response will be an intensive ground search and the deployment of additional traps. Consequent actions to treat the site will be assessed by the Technical Advisory Group.
"MAF wants to thank the Hamilton community for their participation and support in the effort to ensure that the gypsy moth does not establish in New Zealand," said Peter Thomson.
Hamilton residents are reminded that the vegetation control zone and restrictions are still in place and will remain until further notice. Residents should call 0800 96 96 96 for more information on these restrictions.
Prior to the discovery of gypsy moth in Hamilton in March 2003, this serious pest had never been found within New Zealand. A native of Asia, the moth is a significant pest of trees and other plants in Europe, Asia and North America. The gypsy moth could have had a serious impact on urban, native and commercial trees.
If by June 2005 no further gypsy moths are found, MAF will be able to declare success for the Hamilton eradication programme.
Residents can access further information on gypsy moth by going to www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pest-and-disease-response/pests-and-diseases-watchlist/gypsy-moth
For further information contact Communications Adviser - Tina Nixon Ph 0-27-223 2789