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Why put bee industry at further risk?

Shane Ardern MP
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

22 June 2006

Why put bee industry at further risk?

Biosecurity NZ should bring in independent scientists to review MAF’s risk analysis of European foulbrood, says National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

“Beekeepers have already suffered a severe blow with the varroa bee mite now reaching Nelson,” says Mr Ardern.

“Our bee pollination service is vital to the success of our pastoral and primary industries.

“For that reason, Biosecurity NZ should order a peer review of the science surrounding the risks posed by European foulbrood, given that MAF experts can’t guarantee there is no risk.

“You don’t get a second chance with this disease – once it is in it will spread and become a permanent resident.

“New Zealand could go from being an elite exporter of pure honey to one that has to admit using antibiotics.

“The cost of fighting the varroa bee mite has hit our beekeeping industry hard. Any further costs would cause enormous damage to those whose industries rely on pollination.

“The industry is calling for independent analysis of European foulbrood. We should be listening to those calls,” says Mr Ardern.


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