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Biosecurity New Zealand has directed a vehicle carrier to leave New Zealand waters following the discovery of stink bugs and other regulated pests.

Biosecurity officers found three live and 39 dead brown marmorated stink bugs and 69 other dead regulated stink bugs after the Carmen arrived in Auckland from Europe on Wednesday morning.

The vessel was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the United States.

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"The interceptions indicated the cargo was likely to be infested with stink bugs. We also believed the ship itself was contaminated," said border clearance services director Steve Gilbert.

"We informed industry prior to the start of the season of our hard line on cargo vessels believed to be infested with stink bug. "This is about ensuring a dangerous pest does not get a chance to establish in New Zealand."

The vessel left Auckland earlier this afternoon. It will now have to be treated offshore before it can return, says Gilbert.

"If permitted to come back, the vessel should also expect intensive inspection before we allow any cargo to be discharged."

The Carmen is the first cargo ship to be ordered to leave New Zealand since the beginning of the 2018/19 stink bug season in September

Source: nzherald.co.nz