NBA welcomes delay to honey imports
15 September 2009
NBA welcomes delay to honey imports from Australia
The National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand (NBA) is very pleased with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) decision to undertake further work on the honey Import Health Standard (IHS). This will delay honey imports from Australia for up to possibly another two years.
“This hopefully will remove a major threat to NZ’s beekeeping industry – and to all the agricultural industries that rely so heavily on our bee populations,” said NBA joint chief executive officer, Mr Daniel Paul.
“This announcement vindicates all the efforts the National Beekeepers Association went to to demonstrate to MAF and the previous government that honey imports from Australia would be a major risk from a biosecurity standpoint.”
Mr Paul was surprised to learn in the MAF decision announced today that the department believes P.alvei is already present in New Zealand.
“This is a major concern. It’s the first the industry has heard about this major threat being present in New Zealand. We are very keen to see their evidence as soon as possible in order to determine how to address this issue.”
Mr Paul said the beekeeping industry in New Zealand is happy to work with MAF on further biosecurity matters.
He said bees are fundamental to the future of New Zealand’s agricultural and horticultural sectors and he said any threat or risk to the country’s bee population via honey imports could be disastrous for our economy.