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Increase Biosecurity Before It's Too Late

Increase Biosecurity Before It's Too Late

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today said that - given the spate of unwanted organisms creeping into the country over the past three years - the arrival of foot-and-mouth, and plum pox disease in New Zealand seems inevitable.

"The arrival of such threats to our rural economy is almost a foregone conclusion. While the impact of the Gypsy and Painted Apple moths is substantial, both pale into insignificance alongside that of foot-and-mouth or plum pox disease," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The Labour Government must reassess its priorities and deliver on biosecurity in the forthcoming budget. Anything short of doubling efforts to stop such unwanted pests would be unacceptable.

"At the moment, the Government seems to have an open door and a `wonder at will' policy for far too many of these pests. Airport personal security measures for external flights may be necessary, but a similar effort is needed to inspect the incoming containers that present a far greater threat to New Zealand's economic future," Mr Eckhoff said.

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