In the news
MPI issues advice to protect against foot-and-mouth disease: Biosecurity New Zealand is launching an awareness campaign as many countries suffer outbreaks of the disease, which can be fatal to sheep, cattle, deer and pigs. It requires travellers to declare goods, equipment and food that could carry unwanted pests or diseases and state when they have been in contact with livestock.
There is also a one week stand down period from the time that a person arrives from a country with the disease, to the time they go onto a farm in New Zealand.
Hundreds of giant snails take over Florida, killing plants and wildlife in their wake: Swathes of Giant African Snails (GAS) have suddenly appeared on Florida's Gulf Coast. Not only do the creatures threaten to destroy a vast array of plants and trees, they pose the risk of transmitting a rare type of meningitis to humans.
The snail, native to East Africa, is one of the most damaging in the world, eating at least 500 different types of plants. They are occasionally found by officials at the New Zealand border and successfully stopped in their big, big, tracks. Read and see more of it in our annual ‘unwanted pest’ calendar here.