Keeping fly numbers stable

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

The regulations replace those formerly administered by the Department of Health, and follow discussions with community groups, agricultural industries and local government.

Department spokesman Ian McPharlin said stable fly was an aggravating pest for humans and domestic and commercial animals on the coastal plain near Perth, particularly during warmer months.

‘The stable fly needs animal blood to breed and lay eggs,’ Dr McPharlin said. ‘It has sharp mouthparts that can inflict painful bites on bare skin. This can lead to considerable distress.’

The new regulations are part of the Biosecurity and Agricultural Management (BAM) Act and require agricultural enterprises and residents of 13 local government areas to minimise stable fly breeding.

These include Chittering, Gingin, Joondalup, Kalamunda, Swan and Wanneroo.

Stable Fly Action Group (SFAG) chair Bob Wilson expressed his support for DAFWA in overseeing the Stable Fly Management Plan, which outlines the management practices to prevent stable flies from breeding in rotting vegetable crops and raw poultry manure.

‘This is a very positive conclusion to many years of lobbying state and local government by SFAG and local communities for legislative reform, which has now finally come about,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘The SFAG reminds everyone in the 13 local government areas that are part of the Stable Fly Management Plan under the BAM Act that the use of raw poultry manure is still banned all year round.

‘The SFAG hopes that the scientific and on-ground work currently being carried out will have a positive effect on stable fly numbers over the forthcoming summer.’

The new regulations deal specifically with raw poultry manure, feedlots and crop waste, all considered prime fly breeding sites.

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.

Details of the new management plan can be found at biosecurity. wa.gov.au.