The government has committed to invest an extra NZ$18.4 million ($12.9m), spread over four years, to “future-proof” the country’s biosecurity system by strengthening its ability to manage offshore risks and fund investment in “innovative technology”.
Levy board Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) welcomed the conservative government’s Budget 2017 biosecurity investment.
‘Pleased’ with investment
“We’re pleased the Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon Nathan Guy, has made this commitment to biosecurity,” said B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor.
“We realise everyone has a role in biosecurity and it’s an issue farmers take very seriously. Every day, farmers manage invasive weeds, animal health issues and keep watch for new and emerging pests and diseases.”
McIvor said the beef and lamb industry was a “large investor” in both disease control and biosecurity systems. Pointing to the Tuberculosis Eradication Plan, the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) organisation and the Red Meat Profit Partnership, he said there were multiple examples of how the industry tackled the issues.
‘Number one priority’
“There is work under way for piloting enhanced food safety and biosecurity traceability by making all stock movements electronically traceable (electronic Animal Status Declarations eASDs),” he added.
The New Zealand Budget 2017 commits funding for four years. It will help pave the way for the government’s Biosecurity 2025 strategy – a long-term vision for protecting the country from pests and disease.
“Biosecurity has always been my number one priority as Minister because the primary sector is the backbone of our economy,” said MPI minister Guy.
“Unwanted pests and diseases have the potential to cause major damage to our producers.
“Part of the new funding will be used to manage biosecurity risk offshore, so fewer pests and diseases make it to New Zealand. Import Health Standards (IHS) will be reviewed to ensure the rules around importing goods are strong and up to date,” he added.