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Successful bid to suspend honey imports

National Beekeepers Association successful bid to suspend honey imports

Last Friday, the National Beekeepers Association applied to the Wellington High Court for an interim order stopping the importation of Australian honey and other bee products. The Court's decision has been in favour of the Association. MAF's Import Health Standard, which permitted the resumption of Australian imports after more than 50 years, has been suspended pending the Association's challenge to its legality.

This decision is an interim one, but it means that the High Court considers both that the Association has an arguable case, and that the public interest favours the suspension of imports in the meantime. The Association's challenge to the Import Health Standard will be heard in Wellington on 19 and 20 February.

NBA President Jane Lorimer said that “During the consultation on the risk analysis the National Beekeepers Association made significant submissions opposing the importation of bee products because beekeepers have been very concerned about the disease risks with imports of honey and other bee products.”

Jane Lorimer said that “the success of New Zealand’s horticultural and agricultural economy is highly dependent on the honey bee for pollination so it is very important to keep new diseases and organisms out of the beekeeping industry.”

“The damage caused by the Varroa mite over the last six years clearly demonstrates the potential for further damage to beekeeping and the pollination industry.” she said.

ENDS

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