|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Shifting biosecurity resources around from sector to sector is not going to protect our vital primary industries, the Green Party said today.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has just released an independent report into the kiwifruit vine disease Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (psa). The report highlights the Ministry's lack of a strategic view, a failure to adequately respond to changing circumstances, and the absence of effective working relationships between the Ministry, industry stakeholders and scientific researchers.
"This report reiterates the problems we have with the Government's biosecurity strategy," said Green Party biosecurity spokesperson Steffan Browning.
"However, the report's recommendation to move biosecurity resources to only a few key sectors will allow major biosecurity threats through the back door," said Mr Browning.
"Biosecurity has a history of under-resourcing and often competent staff need more support.
"Diversity in production is desperately needed. Today's small and less strategic industries could be the Zespris and Fonterras of tomorrow.
"These problems are repeated in the Government's current handling of pork imports infected with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).
"Pork producers and scientists have told the Government that they are taking a risk that is too big without any evidence to back it up, but the Minister is not listening.
"The Government is still ignoring biosecurity science; in the pork import health standard their own documents said that the weight limit chosen was 'somewhat arbitrary'.
"Once these diseases are in, they are in and the tax payer and the producers are stuck with huge costs to clean up or manage the impacts."