News and Views

More robust biosecurity measures a necessity

Federated Farmers is pleased to see that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is toughening its stance on visitors who ignore New Zealand’s strict biosecurity laws.

MPI revealed it has increased fines by 50 percent since 2014 to air passengers who flout entry requirements, with 9100 infringement notices issued to date in 2017.

Federated Farmers’ Biosecurity Spokesperson Guy Wigley says farmers will feel reassured that focus is high with the busy summer period starting, and after recent biosecurity incursions.

“It’s good to know that MPI is implementing more robust, preventative measures. Increasing numbers of visitors is putting greater stress on our borders and this can have unintended implications for our agriculture sector – the backbone of the New Zealand economy.

“There seems to be a move away from issuing just warnings, which happened in the past. Now there is fines of apparently $400 for even those visitors who have forgotten to declare any potential risk they are carrying.”

The Federation regularly advocates for more resources and funding to develop, maintain and enforce a world class biosecurity system, as outlined in their election manifesto in 2017.

“This might seem harsh or an unwelcome gesture to visitors coming to our wonderful country, but the reality is we can’t afford for any lapses or oversight which might compromise our valuable flora or fauna.

“The financial and social consequences are considerable for farmers, their communities and all New Zealand,” says Guy.

Source: Federated Farmers

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