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Used cars creating unnecessary biosecurity risks

10 April 2001 - Wellington


Used vehicles creating unnecessary biosecurity risks

Forest and Bird is calling on the government to immediately review the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Import Health Standard (IHS) for Used Vehicles.

Forest and Bird Biosecurity Awareness Officer, Karli Thomas, said that the Labour party had made a firm commitment to clean up the risk pathway of used vehicle imports. "MAF's IHS fails to meet this Government's election policy".

Last year MAF proposed an improved IHS, requiring offshore inspection of all used vehicles. "Earlier this year MAF decided to abandon this proposal and continue to allow used vehicles to be brought into New Zealand without being inspected for pests prior to shipment." Ms Thomas said.

Since the implementation of the new IHS, there have been two discoveries of mosquitoes at the Port of Auckland, one mosquito find was on a contaminated used truck. Last week a dirty bus slipped through border inspections altogether, and was only discovered after it broke down in the Lyttleton tunnel.

"At present the hole in our border control is so big that a bus can get through it." Ms Thomas said.

Ms Thomas said that the importation of uninspected used vehicles was creating unnecessary biosecurity risks. "Our environment, primary industry and public health are too important to risk like that. Used vehicles must be inspected and decontaminated before they are shipped to New Zealand."

......... ends.

Further information

Labour Party Policy on Biosecurity, October 1999:

Labour will "stop used vehicle and machinery imports from bringing pests into New Zealand by requiring mandatory, and audited, decontamination and inspection of such high-risk imports before they leave for New Zealand."

Contact: Eric Pyle or Karli Thomas, Forest and Bird - phone 04 385 7374

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