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Unlikely to be penalties over moving produce

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New Zealand News | Sunday May 13 2012 12:06

Unlikely to be penalties over moving produce

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It appears unlikely anyone will feel the full force of the law if they are caught moving produce out of Auckland's exclusion zone.

The discovery of a Queensland fruit fly has led to a ban on fruit or vegetables being taken out of a 1.5 kilometre area around Wolverton Street in Avondale.

There's also a 200 metre zone around the street where produce can't even be moved between properties.

The Minister for Primary Industries David Carter toured the Avondale produce market this morning.

"We have a significant number of traps now in both zone A and zone B and they are being cleared on a regular basis so at this stage still only one."

Mr Carter says while the ministry does have powers under the Biosecurity Act to enforce the exclusion notice, it prefers to work with the local community and retailers to ensure they know what they are required to do.

He says trade may continue at stores which sell fruit and vegetables, but the ministry's working with retailers on the measures they can put in place.

Mr Carter says officers have checked all the produce on sale today to make sure it's not come from within the exclusion zone.

"The people that I've spoken to are very aware of the seriousness of a fruit fly outbreak for New Zealand and people are being absolutely co-operative."

More than 16,000 people have been at the markets this morning.

It appears unlikely anyone will feel the full force of the law if they are caught moving produce out of Auckland's exclusion zone.

Photo: stock.xchng

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