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Honey Imports Must Stop For Good

5 December 2007

Honey Imports Must Stop For Good

Imports of Australian honey must be stopped for good – that’s the clear message from an important Appeal Court decision which will help keep harmful organisms out of New Zealand.

The judgment delivered yesterday found that honey or other bee products from Australia containing a potentially harmful bacterium may not be imported without both biosecurity clearance under the Biosecurity Act 1993, and an approval granted for new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. At present there is no clearance under either law.

“This judgment is an important win for the bee industry and agriculture,” said John Hartnell, chair of the Bee Industry Group of Federated Farmers.
“The success of New Zealand’s horticultural and agricultural economy is highly dependent on the honey bee for pollination, so it is vital that we keep new diseases and organisms out of our bee industry.

“The damage caused by the varroa mite over the past seven years clearly demonstrates the potential for further damage to beekeeping and pollination.

“The bee industry also welcome the continuance of a court-ordered temporary ban on imports of honey and other bee products from Australia (excluding Western Australia, where the existence of the bacterium has not been identified).

“Now we have this a judgment, the only sensible action is to reinstate a complete ban on Australian honey imports as soon as possible. Only this will ensure that we keep Paenibacillus alvei bacterium out of New Zealand hives,” Mr Hartnell said.


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