More areas to be quarantined for the Giant African Snail

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The Plant Protection Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture said it is in the process of updating the 2011 Quarantine Order to include new areas that are now heavily populated with the Giant African Snail pest.
Head of the Unit Dr Janil Gore Francis said the agricultural pest, which was first spotted in two communities in 2008, is now present in several parts of the island.
“The numbers are exponentially increasing at this stage because of how the snails reproduce and the fact that as they move, the numbers increase and so do the chances of further spreading,” Gore Francis said.
“Those areas are under quarantine and the Giant African Snail Taskforce is currently exploring options to actually be able to enforce it,” she said.
So far for the year, several areas have been added to the extensive list which will be placed under quarantine.
“These include the North Sound Gunthorpes area, Hodges Bay and Carnival Gardens. Some of the other infested areas are Cassada Gardens, Fitches Creek. We have seen them in Barnes Hill, All Saints in the vicinity of the Police Station, Radio Range, Scott’s Hill and Crosbies just to name a few,” she highlighted.
Some of the earlier affected areas were Cooks and Cooks Extension, Golden Grove, Bolans, Jennings and Christian Valley, among others.
The Quarantine Order is considered to be an essential step in curbing further spread of the snail, the official explained.
Once this is done, the ministry becomes legally empowered to impose controls on the movement of vehicles and materials in and out of snail-infested areas.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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