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Government Failing Badly on Biosecurity

Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Biosecurity
6 December 2012

Government Failing Badly on Biosecurity

New Zealand First says the Psa outbreak which has decimated the Kiwifruit industry is further proof that the Government’s approach to biosecurity is an abject failure.

Biosecurity Spokesman Richard Prosser says the Psa outbreak not only highlights the failure of security at the border, but the lack of any kind of follow-up plan.

“The Government doesn’t know where Psa came from, how it got in, and it can’t guarantee that something similar won’t happen in the future.”

Mr Prosser says the Government appears to be suffering from some form of cognitive disconnect where biosecurity is concerned.

“They can’t make the connection between slashing the biosecurity budget by $2 million and laying off a heap of frontline staff, and the reality that those moves make our border less secure, not more secure.

“On top of that they don’t appear to know how much this outbreak has cost the industry, or how many jobs will be lost. It’s an absolute shambles.”

New Zealand First is calling for more investment in biosecurity across a range of initiatives.

“We want more dog teams, more boots on the ground, better screening and fumigation of freight, and the 100 per cent inspection and x-raying of all passengers and baggage.

“Our agricultural industries are too valuable to be put at unnecessary risk by this Government’s ‘look mum, no hands’ approach to biosecurity,” says Mr Prosser.

ENDS


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