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Snail Bounty Hunters Sign Contracts

Monday 24th September, 2018-Snail Bounty Hunters this morning signed a three-month contract for an upcoming project aimed at ridding the island of the invasive Giant African Snail.

During a briefing this morning, Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr. Janil Gore-Francis told a gathering of the importance of carrying out their duties with the discipline that is required, in order for the programme to be effective.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Agriculture launched the Giant African Snail Bounty Hunter Programme and urged interested persons to register as the Plant Protection Unit intensifies its eradication programme for this destructive snail.

The Chief Plant Protection Officer fielded a number of questions and concerns from the workers who were eager to know more about safety measures, compensation and hunting areas.

All of these were addressed in-depth by Dr. Gore-Francis who stated that efforts will be made to assign workers in areas where they reside.

There are a number of hot spots for snails across Antigua to include Radio Range, Jolly Hill and Piggotts among other areas.

Plastics bags and gloves were distributed to the workers of the programme today (Mon) and Plant Quarantine Officer Inika Brooks gave a brief demonstration of safety procedures, including how the gloves should be removed after collecting the snails.

To date, 55 registrants have been approved for the programme and 20 have already signed their contracts.

Payment for collection of the snails is at a rate of one dollar per pound.

In using the Bounty System, the participants are being urged not to focus only on reducing the amount of adult breeders in the population, but the small snails and even the eggs are to be targeted as well.

The snails have destroyed local crops, forcing some farmers to find alternative ways of protecting their livelihood.

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