18 Nov 2013

Solomons public urged to stay vigilant for voracious invasive snail

10:27 am on 18 November 2013

Solomon Islands' biosecurity authority is urging people to stay alert for signs of an invasive snail that has cost other countries millions of dollars to eradicate.

The biosecurity director says the Giant African Snail is thought to have entered Guadalcanal province more than a decade ago during the ethnic tensions when government surveillance systems were not operating.

Francis Tsatsia says the snail, which eats 500 plant species, causes severe food shortages where its spread is unchecked.

"Places where we do not bait people are basically not able to sustain their kids at school, not able to give them proper meals every day. So it really has a big impact on them."

Francis Tsatsia says free bait is available and people are encouraged to report sightings of the Giant African Snail immediately.