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Eradication Must be the Option

URGENT Media Release

11 July 2000

Eradication Must be the Option

Terry Gavin, President of the National Beekeepers' Association tonight made a last-minute, impassioned plea to the Cabinet Policy Committee, to determine favourably on an eradication campaign of Varroa mite in the North Island.

"Beekeepers, horticulturists and pastoralists - the backbone of the New Zealand economy - have all backed the move to eradicate Varroa," Mr Gavin said.

"Any decision taken by this Cabinet committee will hang like a sword over the integrity of our primary industries and must place a real question over the Government's commitment to maintaining biosecurity and supporting export industries.

"I and my executive have worked night and day on this issue for the last thirteen weeks, with the vital assistance of other associated organisations. I implore the committee to decide favourably on eradication."

"My members' families and their employees have a potential to see their businesses placed in a most precarious position, with potential to further erode regional economies."

"Frankly, the positive effect of the Government's regional development fund will be completely overshadowed by the Varroa mite's decimation of bees, and its effect on New Zealand's primary industries," Mr Gavin concluded.

ENDS For further information, please contact: Terry Gavin, 09 4331893 Lin McKenzie, 025 357970

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