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Animal Limb Find Highlights Biosecurity Weakness

Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Biosecurity

20 June 2013

Animal Limb Find Highlights Biosecurity Weakness

New Zealand First says the discovery of part of an animal limb in a shipment of Palm Kernel extract from Asia shows the Government's “hands off" approach to biosecurity is failing.

Biosecurity spokesperson Richard Prosser said the partial limb, most likely from a goat or deer, which was discovered by a Hawke's Bay farmer, could harbour all manner of diseases, and in all likelihood probably did.

"This incident highlights everything that's wrong with the Government's lax approach to Biosecurity," said Mr Prosser.

"We don't know exactly what type of animal this is, we don't know how it got into the shipment, and we don't even know which country it's from.

"If the farmer hadn't reported it we wouldn't even know it was here, until we had an outbreak of some disease, and even then we wouldn't be able to trace the source.

"The Government is ignoring essential biosecurity in the interests of not upsetting international trade deals. It's a disgrace and an absolute shambles.

“Questions need to be asked about why the entire shipment was not recalled."

Mr Prosser pointed out that some countries New Zealand imports from only pay lip service to inspections and hygiene, and this means extra vigilance is needed.

"New Zealand First is urging the Government to give biosecurity the priority and resourcing it needs to protect our economy which depends on agriculture.

"The health of our farms and the protection of our economy is more important than the legalese of some trade agreement or another," said Mr Prosser.

ENDS

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