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Eastern States ban imports from Western Australia after pest found

Staff Writer |
After the discovery of a destructive pest known as the tomato potato miner at a Perth farm, Eastern States banned the import of produce from Western Australia in order to quarantine the problem.

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With the Federal agriculture officials in Canberra alerting overseas trading partners, growers and exporters fear foreign markets could be lost.

The State Agriculture Department has placed at least one Perth farm in quarantine. The Department of Agriculture raised the alert last week after the tomato potato psyllid was found on a commercial capsicum crop.

It is the first time that the bug has been detected in Australia and officials are taking it seriously as it is said to be a big production pest in countries where it is present, such as the US and New Zealand. Beyond attacking crops, the pest can act as a host for bacteria that damages potatoes.

NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria issued severe restrictions on importing WA tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants. Imports of potatoes have been banned temporarily by the States for now.

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