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Varroa controls maintained for another year

29 August 2008 Media Statement

Varroa controls maintained for another year

The Government has approved bringing forward varroa funding to maintain North and South Island movement control lines until July 2009, Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton said today.

The beekeeping industry has expressed a strong preference for robust varroa movement controls in the South Island.

In order to maintain this level of control, MAF will bring forward $500,000 budgeted for the following 2009/10 financial year.

Jim Anderton said movement controls were an integral part of slowing the spread of varroa.

"Varroa not only impacts on the beekeeping industry, but also on the pastoral, horticultural, and arable sectors. Delaying the spread of varroa to the rest of the South Island will delay impacts on these industries and give them more time to prepare for varroa management."

He said the Government had asked MAF to determine whether affected industries were willing to meet the costs of maintaining movement controls beyond June 2009. If there is support for industry-funded movement controls, MAF will work with industry groups on how to implement controls in the most cost effective manner.

Varroa has not been found beyond Marlborough, Nelson and Buller in the South Island. The parasitic bee mite was first found in New Zealand in 2000, and is now widespread in the North Island.

Jim Anderton said the Government appreciated the ongoing support of the beekeeping and other affected industries in the fight to slow the spread of varroa.


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