INDEPENDENT NEWS

Let's get the jump on "things that go bump"

Published: Wed 11 Dec 2002 04:58 PM
Let's get the jump on "things that go bump"
Vehicles imported from Australia should be inspected and certified in Australia as well as being steam-cleaned in New Zealand, to guard against unwanted biosecurity hitchhikers like the redback spiders found in Auckland on Friday, Green Party Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.
A nest of live spiders was found by a staff member of Bayes Coachlines in Albany in a bus imported from Australia, more than a week after the bus had been inspected and steam-cleaned in New Zealand. The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry said the steam and water must not have penetrated the small compartment the spiders were nestled in. The bus was fumigated after the discovery, killing the spiders.
Mr Ewen-Street said it would be feasible to have vehicles that were imported from Australia inspected and certified in Australia first, as only a small number were imported - as opposed to the large numbers imported from Japan.
"There are a lot more things that go bump in Australia than there are in Japan. We have to do everything we can to guard against incursions by pests like the painted apple moth, toxic spiders and snakes, as they pose an unacceptable risk to New Zealand's environment, public health and economy."
Female redback spiders are already established in New Zealand, and it is believed they are already displacing the rare native katipo. The bite of the female redback spider is toxic to humans.

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