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Varroa decision blow to pastoral sector

Shane Ardern MP
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman
2 August 2006

Varroa decision blow to pastoral sector

The Government’s dismissal of eradication as an option to fight the Varroa bee mite is yet another blow to the beekeeping industry and New Zealand’s pastoral sector, says National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

“Chosing ‘management’ as an option means Varroa will inevitably spread throughout the South Island - at a cost far higher than the $9.5 million predicted for an eradication programme in Nelson.

“Bee experts have predicted that resistance to Varroa mite treatment was expected within five years, as has happened everywhere else in the world. When that happens hive losses will be much greater than they are now.

“Even before the discovery of the bee mite at Pelorus, it was quite clear from comments by Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton, and his slow response, that the Government was never going to try eradication.

“To keep the beekeeping and pastoral industries in limbo for so long is totally unacceptable.

“Even Rural Affairs Minister Damien O’Connor said the ‘Government should go for it’, but obviously he was shut down.

“Biosecurity officials are not unanimous in this decision and it is sadly yet another example of a Minister and a government that is not prepared to stand up and fight to protect our environment and our primary industries.”


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