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Labour's Biosecurity Strategy Lacking

Labour's Biosecurity Strategy Lacking

Thursday 20 Nov 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

The Labour Government's Biosecurity strategy has been found wanting at its first significant test, following the discovery of Post-weaning Multi-systematic Wasting Disease Syndrome (PMWS), ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The pork industry wants the Bio Security Act invoked immediately, whereas Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton refuses to accept the need to slaughter affected stock based on MAF advice. The pork industry is being ignored.

"While MAF believes it is futile to `depopulate' the affected herd, the pork industry wants the known affected herds to be slaughtered immediately. The industry says the 50-50 chance of eliminating this disease is worth trying.

"MAF believes the chances of success are not high enough for the investment required. The industry disagrees, based on the best information available.

"No other country has tried to eradicate the disease where only finishing herds are involved - as is the case in New Zealand. Breeding herds are probably too difficult to attempt eradication.

"There appears to be something very wrong with MAF's decision-making process under Mr Sutton's stewardship," Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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