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New regulations for stable fly

NEW regulations to reduce stable fly numbers in the City of Swan and Shire of Kalamunda are set to be introduced.
The flies are a menace to livestock and pets living on the Swan coastal plain and the new regulations follow research and community consultation.
Stable Fly Action Group committee member Anne Sibbel said after months of consultation the Department of Agriculture and Food would become the custodian for new regulations aimed at managing the pest.
“Because of climate change stable flies don’t go away even in winter,” she said.
“We are gearing up for stable fly season, which typically runs from October to May and we are hoping with the new regulations we will see a lot fewer outbreaks.
“But the success of the new legislation and the management plan relies on people reporting infestations to the Department of Agriculture and Food or local government.�
“If people don’t report, then the new regulations won’t work.’’
DAFWA spokesman Ian McPharlin said stable fly’s need to feed on blood made it a destructive pest, especially for horse and cattle where biting led to agitation, weight loss and general wellbeing issues.
“Stable fly breeds in rotting vegetation including horticultural waste, livestock bedding and decomposing poultry manures in contact with the soil,” he said.
Mr McPharlin said the new regulations deal specifically with raw poultry manure, feedlots and crop waste, all considered prime fly breeding sites. Non-compliance would attract fines.
He said local government rangers and environmental health officers will continue to visit properties, provide education and communication, issue warnings and monitor general compliance with the new regulations. The department will provide inspectors if further action is needed.
Changes cover use of poultry manure, commercial growing of some vegetables and fruits including olives, feeding vegetables to livestock, and managing livestock in feedlots and stables.
Department regional operations manager Don Telfer said transporting poultry waste to these areas and its use as horticulture manure were banned at all times of year unless it was treated to stop stable fly breeding.
“Horticultural growers should not allow crop waste to rot on the ground as it breeds stable fly,” he said.
“Likewise, livestock owners should be aware that horticultural waste fed to animals such as cattle should be spread across the paddock or placed in troughs. It is no longer acceptable to leave piles of rotting waste on the ground for livestock to eat.”
However Dr Sibbel forecast challenges ahead.
“The favourite place for this declared pest to breed is raw poultry manure and veggie crop waste so the changes will impact on market gardeners and they will have to change some practices to minimise breeding.”

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