Many animals and insects have been imported into Australia, intentionally or not. However, the Red Fire Ant is proving to be the latest big problem for their Agriculture and way of life.
The ants were first introduced in 2001, via Brisbane, Queensland. Since then the army of insects, which are native to South America, have been marching south towards the New South Wales border.
Bites en-masse from the ants can cause blisters to both livestock and humans. In some cases this can bring on anaphylaxis, leading to death. In the U.S.A. alone, 80 lives lost have been attributed to the pest, with Australian experts predicting around 3,000 such cases a year unless complete eradication is completed.
$328m has already been spent on what can be described as an epidemic. Andrew Cox, CEO of the Invasive Species Council remarked, “Fire ants will be a massive hit to our economy, our environment, our healthcare system and our outdoor lifestyle if we do not act now. Eradication is still possible and in our nation’s interest but the time to act is rapidly diminishing.”
The Australian Government believe that the eradication process is feasible with the set finances and with the technology currently available.
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