NZ ups Aussie airport screening, claims biosecurity risk

NZ ups Aussie airport screening, claims biosecurity risk

New Zealand has tightened biosecurity measures for passengers arriving from Australia following an outbreak of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Adelaide.

Detector dogs may be used to greet passengers as they step off incoming Australian flights to provide greater scrutiny of hand luggage, which is the most likely source of fruit and other risk items.

“Our intelligence team determined there was a biosecurity threat to New Zealand, so we’ve swung into gear very quickly,” Ministry of Primary Industries manager Craig Hughes said on Tuesday.

“In addition to the extra dogs, the Adelaide outbreak has prompted a stricter approach to our risk assessment. If there is any doubt, passengers will be screened by x-ray and sent to our search benches.”

A quarantine zone has been imposed in Adelaide following the discovery of the fly in locally-grown peaches.

The Mediterranean fruit fly is considered one of the world’s most destructive fruit pests and would have serious consequences for the local horticultural industry if it arrived in New Zealand.

Photo Credit: istock

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