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Three Cheers For PMS

6 September 2004 PR 174/04

Three Cheers For PMS

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group (BIG) is delighted that the Minister of Agriculture has approved a pest management strategy which aims to keep the varroa bee mite pest out of the South Island, said BIG Chairman Milton Jackson.

"Keeping the South Island varroa free is a daunting task which would have been impossible to achieve without the regulatory toolbox provided by a pest management strategy," Mr Jackson said.

The strategy was an initiative of the Varroa Planning Group, which included BIG representatives. BIG has always strongly supported the PMS -- unlike some bee organisations which couldn't make up their minds in the face of compelling evidence.

“The strategy is a valuable insurance policy against the increased cost to agribusiness and New Zealand if varroa becomes established in the South Island. It also represents a tremendous leap forward in inter-industry co-operation. We have most sectors in primary industry, and regional government, working together for the common good of the South Island and New Zealand," Mr Jackson said.

"Importantly, the South Island can continue to provide clean bee stocks to the North Island and help with research into the long-term management of varroa.

"We hope that the travelling public and transport operators continue to respect Cook Strait as a movement control boundary and ensure that bees and other risk goods are not transported south," Mr Jackson said.

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group is part of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).


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