Queensland hunters to avoid banana farms while Panama disease is managed

Press release from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Biosecurity Queensland is asking recreational hunters to avoid entering banana growing areas in North Queensland as it manages a case of Panama disease, Tropical race 4 strain (fusarium wilt), on a property in the Tully Valley area.

Chief Biosecurity Officer Dr Jim Thompson said hunting feral pigs was a very popular local pastime and he was asking shooters not to go onto banana farms.

“This will help reduce the risk of anyone accidentally picking up this disease on their boots or vehicles and spreading it around,” he said.

“Panama disease Tropical Race 4 is an exotic fungus which destroyed the Northern Territory’s banana industry in the 1990s and it’s the last thing we want here.

“The fungus lives in the soil and infected plant tissue. It can be transmitted by the movement of infected plant material and in mud and water.

“We are working hard to beat this disease, but we need your support.

“Our message to everyone involved in the banana industry is ‘Come Clean, Leave Clean’, but this applies to everybody, not just farmers and their workforce.”

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