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BMSB - update on risk and actions to mitigate this risk
10 March 2016

In February MPI provided KVH and other GIA signatories with updated BMSB interception data. This interception data shows that the risk profile of this pest is changing.

Interceptions from the USA have decreased, which may indicate that measures introduced by MPI and their US counterparts are successfully reducing the risk of entry through this pathway. However, interceptions from Europe are increasing.

BMSB was first detected in Europe in 2007. It is now established in nine European countries and is likely in the early stages of a population explosion similar to what we have seen in the USA. This population growth and range expansion is reflected in the interception data with a clear spike in interceptions from Italy.

Actions
MPI’s readiness approach utilises a ‘BMSB network’ which includes industry organisations such as KVH. KVH’s involvement in these activities includes the following.

Response framework under GIA

  • In November last year KVH was the invited industry representative in an all of Government response exercise on BMSB to assess strategic risks associated with response options. This resulted in an agreement that eradication should be pursued.
  • KVH has participated in two formal meetings to progress cost shares under GIA should BMSB establish, and strongly argued for 100% government funding.

Research efforts to mitigate risk and impact of BMSB

  • KVH is a member of the MPI/Industry research group that overviews the R&D focus and priorities. Three priorities are developing effective traps and pheromones, ACVM approval of effective sprays and assessing biological control options.
  • KVH is also exploring further opportunities for jointly funded research. One project is underway, co-funded by Zespri to determine the impact of BMSB on “vine condition” in G3 and Hayward. This research is underway at the University of California Riverside with completion expected August 2016.

Communications to increase likelihood of early detection

  • Co-funded BMSB communications campaign with MPI and other GIA partners, to raise public awareness and increase likelihood of early detection through passive surveillance. This is the second year KVH has been involved in this campaign, the previous campaign was a success resulting in a significant increase in suspect BMSB finds, particularly in the Bay of Plenty that reported more than any other region.
  • KVH is strengthening awareness among the kiwifruit industry, associated industries such as the Port of Tauranga and the freight and logistics sector and also with members of public. This includes school visits, Mystery Creek field days, BOP Polytechnic presentations utilising our displaying specimens and handing out collateral.

Advocating for tighter measures to reduce the likelihood of entry

  • KVH put forward a submission on MPI’s proposed amendments to the Imported Health Standard (IHS) for Vehicles, Machinery and Tyres. While we supported most of the proposed amendments, KVH opposed one part that would result in removal of treatment for BMSB during the ‘lower risk’ winter period, as did Horticulture New Zealand and several other product groups. Our submission against this proposed change was on the basis that the risk over the winter period is lower but still significant (it is not ‘negligible’ as assessed by MPI), and lack of scientific evidence to support some assumptions and conclusions in the proposal (e.g., scientific evidence relating to whether BMSB entering at this time could survive and establish). The latest interception data provides further evidence BMSB is turning up on imports during winter months (May – Sept).
  • KVH has also worked with MPI in relation to interceptions of both BMSB and White Peach Scale on consignments of Italian kiwifruit, and MPI is now requiring 100% treatment of this pathway to address this risk. This is a good result and show that MPI have recognised the emerging risk from Italy and implemented appropriate measures immediately.

Click here for more information on the BMSB.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz