The following is an update from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on the suspension of fresh cucurbit trade from Queensland to New Zealand following the positive detection of Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus from a consignment of watermelons from the state.
On 13 December 2019, the Department of Agriculture was notified by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ MPI) that a consignment of watermelons imported from Queensland tested positive to Cucumber Greening Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV). Queensland has been trading with New Zealand under CGMMV Pest Free Area (PFA) status.
NZ MPI subsequently suspended the pathway for all fresh cucurbit fruit from Queensland pending an investigation of the non-compliance by the department.
Affected commodities Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Honeydew melon (Cucumis melo), Rockmelon (Cucumis melo), Scallopini/squash (Cucurbita pepo), Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo).
Following the suspension, the department negotiated with NZ MPI to test additional consignments held at the border with a view to releasing consignments free from CGMMV. However, further testing by MPI in New Zealand showed positive results for CGMMV in an additional four consignments. No consignments were released and the suspension of trade was upheld.
Trade of fresh cucurbits from New South Wales’ and Victoria’s Pest Free Place of Production sites has not been suspended. New South Wales and Victoria export fresh cucurbits (excluding watermelons and pumpkins) to New Zealand under the Pest Free Place of Production pathway.
Exporters sourcing fresh cucurbits (excluding watermelons and pumpkins) from New South Wales and Victoria for export to New Zealand, will need to ensure that the property of production is registered with the relevant state authority and the department in order to be approved for export.