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Plague

Australia is spending $400 million to stop the spread of red fire ants

“Our fire-ant fighters have finally been given the war chest they need,” an invasive species expert said.

LOCAL AND FEDERAL authorities in Australia have committed $400 million (€272 million) over the next decade towards eradicating the red fire ant, which is a non-native species.

Red ants, which can cause an anaphylactic shock in humans if you’ve been bitten by the insects repeatedly, cause around 86 death in the US per year.

A government report obtained by ABC News in 2016 estimated that if the ants were not eradicated, they could be responsible for up to 3,000 anaphylactic reactions in Australia per year.

They could also have a substantial impact on Australia’s agriculture sector, both on crops and livestock.

Efforts have been made by authorities to stop the spread of the ants from Queensland to other parts of Australia in the past few years; now, a new committee will be established to create a coordinated approach, in the hope that it will be more successful than past attempts.

“Our fire-ant fighters have finally been given the war chest they need to eradicate deadly fire ants from Australia,” the Invasive Species Council’s CEO Andrew Cox told ABC.

Read: ‘It’s disgusting’: Fly infestation plagues Dublin residents and businesses

Read: Clare is fighting back against spread of Japanese knotweed

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