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Congrats Sutton, you've finally woken up

Eric Roy National Biosecurity Spokesperson

22 May 2001

Congrats Sutton, you've finally woken up

National is pleased Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton has finally woken up to the huge concerns of New Zealanders about foot and mouth disease by bringing the introduction of instant fines forward, National's Biosecurity Spokesperson Eric Roy said today. "But it is a shame it took Jim Sutton so long to wake up to the fact that New Zealand needs more than a few signs and pamphlets to protect our borders.

"Today he's finally bowed to public pressure after months of opposing the need for instant fines to start as soon as possible.

"Almost three months after the foot and mouth outbreak in the United Kingdom rural communities here are still voicing their strong concerns that our Government is not doing enough to protect our borders from the risk of foot and mouth.

"Under the Biosecurity Act 1993, introduced by National instant fines could be imposed on travellers who did not declare goods on entering the country. This was so travellers not staying long in the country could pay up, instead of being summonsed to court.

"Instant fines haven't happened since National's amendment to the Act in 1999 because the Government hasn't allocated the appropriation to enact it. The Government rejected the Ministry of Agriculture's application for money to enact instant fines in last year's Budget.

"Instant fines are a very important step to tightening our borders, keeping foot and mouth out and hence protecting the country's economic future," Mr Roy said.


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