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Government Must Begin Border Enforcement Penalties

Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson Tom Lambie today called on the Government to stop prevaricating and start issuing on the spot infringement notices for tourists and travellers entering New Zealand with plant or food material.

"At present, there is no penalty for callously and selfishly endangering New Zealand's biosecurity. There is no need for passengers to bring plant and food material in, and an on the spot fine would make the point that the risks are serious, and New Zealand treats biosecurity very seriously."

"New Zealand has a very high economic dependence on its natural environment for tourism, and its ability to produce and export primary products in a very competitive international market place."

"Every effort must be made to protect our border security. The Government must stop wasting time and bring in the instant fine system, which would be an excellent first step towards improved border biosecurity."

"Attempting to smuggle a new plant or an exotic fruit through the border is not a harmless lark. The Varroa mite, for example, has the potential to cost billions of dollars in the next five years."

"The Government has the power to make travellers think very seriously about what can only be described as an act of carelessness at best, and outright stupidity at worst."

ENDS

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