15 Jul 2008

Solomons quarantine department losing battle to control Giant African Snail

1:39 pm on 15 July 2008

The Solomon Islands Quarantine Department is losing its battle to control the spread of the Giant African Snail.

The department's first sighting of the snail was at logging premises in Ranadi Industrial area last year but it is now reporting an outbreak in other parts of Honiara.

Our correspondent, Richard Toke, says it has prompted threats by some countries to ban imports of Solomon Islands' agriculture and forest products, which may cost the country millions of dollars.

He says a lack of quarantine control is to blame for the outbreak.

"It comes into the country because of very poor, it is believed, very poor control mechanisms in place. And it is believed that it comes through logging equipment that's been shipped over from, you know, Asian countries."

Richard Toke says the Quarantine Department has admitted it ran out of the bait to kill the Giant African Snail about seven months ago.