Internal Quarantine

Internal Quarantine Movements of fruit and vegetables in the Cook Islands are controlled by Biosecurity Act 2008 part11 section 81 and Manual of Biosecurity Procedures for the Cook Islands section 13. Fruits and vegetables may require inspection and issued with an internal certificate before any movement from Rarotonga to the outer Islands. All nursery propagating materials to be moved through the Cook Islands are to be inspected, soils removed on nursery stocks and treated prior to shipment.


Island Councils with areas within their jurisdiction may also request the Secretary for Agriculture to take steps under this Act to prevent the movement of specific articles from or to another Island. A good example of island council using their jurisdiction as a measure for internal quarantine is the used of by-laws for protection, as in the case of Aitutaki on the prohibiting importation of dog to their Island.


During an emergency the Secretary will give notice of declaration and prohibit the movement of regulated articles in and out of the emergency area. A given example is the outbreak of the Oriental Fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) in 2013 on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, an emergency was declared and all movement of fruits and vegetables were prohibited from Rarotonga and Aitutaki to and from all Islands in the Cook Islands until state of emergency was declared over by the Secretary for Agriculture.


Suwarrow, the largest national park of the Cook Islands, is an uninhabited remote atoll with a land mass total area is a mere 0.4 sq km and situated in the Northern Cook Islands. Suwarrow is an important sea-bird breeding site not only for the Cook Islands but for the region and the world. In 2013 Te Ipukarea Society carried out a rat eradication program for the protection of the birds on these islets. Now the National Environment Service with Biosecurity Service are putting in place a biosecurity program for our domestic shipping company which service the southern and northern group islands . We have islands which are free of the shipwreck rat and two of these islands are wild life birds breeding sites. The whole purpose of the program is to prevent any shipwreck rat and other invasive species from arriving on these islands.