INDEPENDENT NEWS

Black Widow Spider Found, No Fumigation Failure

Published: Tue 16 Oct 2001 11:31 AM
16 October 2001
Black widow spider found, no fumigation failures found
A live black widow spider was found last week in a carton of Californian table grapes in an Auckland supermarket.
Imports from the treatment facility in California were suspended until the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) audit was completed.
The USDA audit confirmed that all required treatments were carried out in California in accordance with agreed MAF standards. Importing has resumed.
“The USDA audit did not find any system failures which could be attributed to our standards not being followed correctly, therefore imports of Californian table grapes will continue,” said Justin Downs, MAF’s national adviser, International Operations (Plant Imports).
Mr Downs said the situation would be reviewed again if another exotic spider made it into New Zealand.
The USDA has written to MAF reassuring the Ministry of its, and the Californian table grape industry’s, commitment to comply with New Zealand import standards. Additional measures have also been put in place to ensure this remains a credible and sustainable program.
The risk of black widow spiders becoming established in New Zealand by this pathway is considered very low.
The male black widow spider has an elongated black shiny body, with white and red markings on its side. The female’s abdomen has a red hourglass mark or two red marks on its back. It is similar in appearance to the New Zealand katipo spider, which is venomous. The black widow spider’s bite is also venomous, and may result in breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting.
New Zealand imports 400,000 cartons of Californian table grapes a year. So far this season 145,000 cartons have been imported. This equates to 3.625 million bunches of grapes. Last months finding of a black widow spider bring the total to three spider finds this season.
For further information contact Gita Parsot, MAF Biosecurity Communications on 04-470-2753

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

First prosecution for failing to identify a problem gambler
By: Department Of Internal Affairs
New Report: Climate policy needs a landscape approach
By: Parliamentary Commissioner For The Environment
An end to unnecessary secondary tax
By: New Zealand Government
Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Operations Temporarily Suspended
By: Civil Aviation Authority
Govt rejects Upton proposal to restrict use of trees
By: BusinessDesk
James Shaw rejects change to forestry offset for CO2
By: RNZ
Separating greenhouse gases in climate policy -Experts React
By: Science Media Centre
Climate Change Minister thanks the environment watchdog
By: New Zealand Government
ETS revamp: averaging accounting for forests
By: New Zealand Government
PCE report is challenge to climate change thinking
By: Federated Farmers
Dairy and fertiliser lobbies will celebrate over PCE report
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Failing to see the forest for the trees
By: BusinessNZ
PCE report an endorsement for native trees – Project Crimson
By: Project Crimson
PCE Report needs clarity from government
By: NZ Forest Owners Association
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media