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Tasmanian fruit fly outbreaks traced back to fumigation fail

Fruit fly infested fruit found in supermarket

A nectarine certified as being "fruit fly free" has been found infected with fruit fly larvae in a Tasmanian supermarket today.

The discovery immediately commenced a state-wide recall for all host produce imported from Victoria and certified through a specific accredited treatment facility.
At this stage the treatment facility or the supermarket haven't been named. However, today's events highlight advances in Biosecurity Tasmania's investigations into the origins of the outbreaks.

Biosecurity Tasmania General Manager, Dr Lloyd Klumpp, said the nectarines came into the State as certified treated fruit fly free produce.

"This is clearly not the case," Dr Klumpp said.

"So in line with agreed protocols we have issued a recall on all fruit fly host produce that has gone through this particular interstate facility."

"We are undertaking further investigations with interstate authorities, including any relationship between this Victorian treatment facility and other Tasmanian detections of fruit fly this summer."

The recall is state-wide with substantial amounts of produce being removed off supermarket shelves.

Queensland fruit fly trap on farm

Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff, said the detection provides a circuit breaker in the fight against the pest.

"This is because the discovery provides a clearer idea of how fruit flies may have entered the State and where to focus the attention."

One grower was blunt in his criticism of the ongoing biosecurity pressures on Tasmania caused through what he sees as poor biosecurity management in Victoria.
"The Yarra Valley in Victoria as a premium production area lost its pest free place of production status recently because the Victorian Government doesn't care about fruit fly," said the grower who didn't wished to be named.

"Now Tasmania has fruit fly outbreaks, like we suffered blueberry rust, because again the Victorian Government doesn't manage its biosecurity at all."

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