29 Aug 2012

No formal action over illegal antibiotic use

3:27 pm on 29 August 2012

Kiwifruit Growers president Neil Trebilco says the 26 growers who illegally used the antibiotic streptomycin to reduce the chance of their vines dying from bacterial disease PSA are fortunate to have escaped prosecution.

In May, kiwifruit marketer Zespri gave the Ministry for Primary Industries the names of Bay of Plenty growers who had either sprayed the bacteriocide last spring outside the control period, or illegally injected it into their vines.

This week, the ministry announced it had sent all the growers a warning letter, but said it did not intend to take any formal action against them.

Mr Trebilco says he hopes the growers have learnt a lesson. He says it's to their credit that all the growers came forward and admitted using streptomycin illegally.