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Another Biosecurity Incursion Mocks Govt. Claims

PRESS STATEMENT
SHANE ARDERN
NATIONAL BIOSECURITY SPOKESMAN

19 November 2003


Another Biosecurity Incursion Mocks Minister’s Claim Of Best Biosecurity System In The World

“I fully support the Pork Board’s attempts to try and eradicate the pig disease, post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PWMWS), and call upon MAF to help them with eradication”, Shane Ardern, National Biosecurity spokesman said.

“The fact that there could be two more pig farms affected is a warning to everyone that all our agricultural industries are at risk and it is only a matter of time.

“It is typical of this Government when it comes to biosecurity incursions to sit around until it has spread and then put eradication in the “too hard” basket. History has shown that we must react much faster and more effectively when a disease is suspected – unfortunately history repeats itself as this Government fails to learn the lessons.

“Surveillance is all very well, but the Varroa bee mite, Gum Leaf Skeletoniser Moth, Guava Fruit Moth, Lettuce Aphid etc have all spread, despite MAF’s attempts to control their movements. There is no reason to suppose that this attempt will be any different.

“We must urgently investigate how PWMWS got into New Zealand and plug the hole before more of our primary industries suffer a similar fate.

“A failing biosecurity policy is a risk New Zealand cannot afford. This is a warning that our economy is under threat. We must be more vigilant and more proactive”.

END

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