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May take an elephant before risk taken seriously

Damien

O’CONNOR

Spokesperson for Primary Industries

19 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
May take an elephant before risk taken seriously

That the Ministry of Primary Industries is sending a senior official to South East Asia following the discovery of an animal limb in imported stock feed is less than reassuring, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

Reports released today reveal that part of an animal leg was found by a Bay Of Plenty farmer in palm kernel expeller (PKE), brought in from Malaysia.

“It is a clear example of the failure of the Government’s biosecurity system, and particularly so given numerous previous warnings - including those in a report from two New Zealand farmers who visited PKE facilities in Malaysia in September last year.

“Their report saw a slow and muted response from the Ministry of Primary Industries.

“The Government has been negligently slow to act on the risks posed by PKE.

“It is disingenuous to keep on saying the risks are low. If that’s the case, why is a second group of MPI officials now being hastily dispatched to Malaysia and Indonesia to work with authorities there?

“Clearly there will need to be an elephant in a shipment before Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy accepts there is a real and on-going biosecurity risk in allowing 1.5 million tonnes of PKE to enter New Zealand each year.”

ENDS


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