AUTHORITIES in Brisbane have destroyed a ‘baseball-sized’ Giant African snail after worries it could do severe damage to the country’s ecosystem.
The snail, which can grow up to a foot (30cm) in length and weigh over two pounds (1kg), was found in a freight yard in the port city. Giant African snails are known to eat 500 different plants, fruits and crops.
Australian agriculture officials were keen to avert a repeat of the last snail outbreak in 1977, when an eight-month campaign was waged to capture and destroy 300 of the snails.
Australian biosecurity measures are notoriously strict, in order to protect the native ecology and wildlife. Unfortunately this means that the Giant snail has few natural enemies in the country, which necessitates the strong reaction from the authorities.
In a statement, Paul Nixon of the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said: “Giant African snails are one of the world’s largest and most damaging land snails.
“Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements and responsive system has so far kept these pests out of Australia, and we want to keep it that way.”