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Sutton Wrong To Scoff At Instant Deportation

Jim Sutton is wrong to describe the suggestion of instant deportation to protect New Zealand's agriculture from foot-and-mouth as 'too draconian' National's Agriculture Spokesperson Gavan Herlihy said today.

At the Meat NZ AGM in Rotorua yesterday, the Minister of Biosecurity said that adding the penalty of instant deportation to elevate our biosecurity message would be 'too draconian and it wouldn't make much difference'.

"I totally disagree. If a backpacker, who blatantly puts our biosecurity at risk, was to be instantly deported, the message that New Zealand is really serious about protecting its borders would reverberate around the backpacking hostels of the world," said Mr Herlihy.

"Last year 16 tonnes of fruit and 8.5 tonnes of meat and poultry products were intercepted by MAF Quarantine at our international airports.

"We're clearly not getting the message across to inbound travellers of the vital importance of biosecurity to not just New Zealand's farmers, but to every New Zealander. It's time we adopted a 'zero tolerance' approach and really show we mean business.

"We have to get the message through to international visitors that we will not tolerate our country being put at risk. At a time like this no strong biosecurity message can be described as 'too draconian'. It's time the Minister listened to the concerns out there in rural New Zealand," Mr Herlihy said.


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