Chief agriculture officer in Auki, Malaita province has warned the public to properly check goods, luggage and other belongings through quarantine in Honiara before sending them to the provinces.
John Faleka made the call after his officers discovered a number of giants snail on separate occasion in Auki.
He said that one instance his officers discovered the African giant snail in fifteen pot plants (flowers) sold in Auki market by one of the women believed to have been shipped from Honiara last week ago.
Faleka said his officers found ten dead African giant snails in 15 pot flowers.
He added that after the discovery they put on snail bait at the area to identify any live snail but found none.
“We then told the woman to throw all the pot flowers into the sea in order to stop it spreading,” he said.
Faleka said that proper checking at the Honiara quarantine before dispatching any goods to other provinces is vital.
“This is to ensure that we contain the spread of the snail.
“People need to check any materials or plants by quarantine officers in Honiara before sending it to provinces in order to avoid the snails reaching other provinces.
“It’s good for companies and individuals who transport things like machineries, iron materials, soil, plants from Honiara to Auki and other provinces to allow quarantine officers to check them before dispatching them,” he said.
At the moment our field officers used snail baits to prove or see whether there are live snails in the province, he added.
“Icall on the public to quickly report to Auki agriculture office of any sighting of the snails within the regions.”
Faleka revealed that at the beginning of this year his officers received two unconfirmed cases at Widara, North Malaita and Tawai Mari in South Malaita.
From previous two months we received another confirmed case at Sikitae, Auki and just last week another case at the Auki main market.
A total of four cases were reported in which two were confirm and other two were unconfirmed.
BY WILLIAM EKOTANI