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Labour soft on biosecurity

Shane Ardern
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman
31 March 2005

Labour soft on biosecurity

National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern, says Labour’s soft attitude to biosecurity is leaving the economy open to daily threat from foreign diseases and pests.

He is commenting on figures released today by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that show 8,759 people were fined last year for trying to bring biosecurity threats across our border.

“These figures show clearly that the $200 instant fine is not working, and it is imperative that it is increased immediately.” Mr Ardern says.

“Each of those 8,759 people had the potential to destroy our economy by bringing in a dangerous pest or disease. And what you have to remember is that these are just those who are caught – no doubt many others are slipping through our borders with goods that could threaten our livelihood.

“If Labour were serious about our biosecurity borders they would increase the fine to a level which showed the seriousness of the offence, and they would deport non-residents who have deliberately tried to flout our laws,” Mr Ardern says.

Ends

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