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Will The Varroa Mite Be A Case Of Deja Vu

Will The Varroa Mite Be A Case Of Bio-security Deja Vu

Government inaction over the Varroa bee mite could seriously undermine the agricultural sector’s future viability, said ACT Agriculture Gerry Eckhoff.

The Cabinet, after a briefing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, was unable to reach a decision on the Varroa mite today. Hundreds of hives around the North Island have been affected by the mite.

“We have a historical precedent for the true costs of Government bio-security inaction. Twenty five years ago, Bovine Tb was unknown to New Zealand farmers, but political hand wringing has seen it escalate to a substantial agricultural cost.

Until the late 1970’s, Tb was only found on the West Coast of the South Island. Government failure to commit adequate resources saw it spread throughout New Zealand over the following years

“The bee industry, through pollination, directly contributes to the production of over $40 million of export revenue. This revenue is increasingly threatened as the Government sits on its hands, unable to take a leadership position.

"Overseas evidence has shown control and management efforts fail after 10 to 15 years. Eradication is the only viable long-term option."

“The Government must do what is best for the entire agricultural sector. Clearly cost cannot be an issue as Government support for the arts indicates. Cash for the ballet but not the bees?

“The Government must show leadership in this issue or New Zealand’s long term agricultural viability will be greatly endangered,” said Gerry Eckhoff


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