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Beekeepers Disappointed At Biosecurity Breech

7 March 2002

The National Beekeepers Association (NBA) is disappointed that a box of honey sent through the post from Australia has crossed New Zealand's border undetected.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) class honey as a prohibited import to protect the New Zealand bee industry from diseases such as European Foulbrood which is rife in Australia. The honey was sent to a resident in the Nelson area recently and was brought to the attention of a local NBA member.

"The bee industry is taking active steps to address the impact of the Varroa bee mite, said NBA Vice President Lin McKenzie. "An incursion of European Foulbrood would be the final straw for many beekeepers."

"The NBA was delighted when MAF picked up on the illegal importation of royal jelly (a bee product) from China recently. However, we are deeply concerned at the number of prohibited products still getting through New Zealand's borders.

"This time it was honey, next time it could be meat products containing foot and mouth disease.

"New Zealand is part of the global economy and as such it is every New Zealanders responsibility that we protect our boarders and our competitive advantage."


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