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Tasmania: Authorities seizing produce taken outside exclusion zones

Biosecurity Tasmania has seized up to 40 kilograms of fruit which was taken out of the fruit fly control zone in Tasmania's north-west. Nick Hansen from Fruit Growers Tasmania said officers confiscated the pest host fruit. "This was produce that was either grown in the control zone or had travelled through the control zone in an uncertified manner," he said. "As I understand it, this fruit was secured, the people were spoken to, and … there were no fines issued."

Control zones had been set up at Spreyton and Flinders Island after larvae and then adult flies were detected in apricots in both areas.

ABC Net quoted a Biosecurity spokesman as saying officers would continue conducting inspections of markets and roadside fruit stalls. "These restrictions are in place to reduce the risk of fruit fly being transported outside the Spreyton control area."

Last week officers also seized five kilograms of fruit and vegetables from a passenger flying into Tasmania from Flinders Island. The entire island is subject to an exclusion zone and produce cannot be moved outside it. The maximum penalty is a $15,900 fine. Also last week, the government announced it was ramping up measures to prevent the spread of fruit fly across Tasmania.

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