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Budget Must Not Skimp On Biosecurity

Budget Must Not Skimp On Biosecurity

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today warned that a failure to recognise the importance of bio-security in the Budget could condemn New Zealand to Third World status.

"There is nothing more vital than continuing the battle against unwanted organisms, which threaten out status of being free from such diseases as foot-and-mouth and plum pox disease," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Increased funding for research into new inspection technologies - especially of cargo containers - is vital, and will allow for a speedy turnaround of goods across our wharves. It is obvious that current procedures are inadequate, despite the best efforts of biosecurity staff.

"The Budget must, at least, double the biosecurity vote for inspection services, with provision for a reserves account to deal with incursions as they occur, not six months later.

"Biosecurity is the most important public good. Without a vibrant export trade, health and education services will be unaffordable to the vast majority of New Zealanders," Mr Eckhoff said.

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