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Cabinet Committee Must Opt for Eradication

Media Release

Cabinet Committee Must Opt for Eradication

The Government must decide quickly to implement an eradication programme for the Varroa mite, peak primary industry groups said today.

New Zealand Beekeeper's Association, Fruitgrowers Federation and Federated Farmers combined voices to say rural New Zealand is owed a quick decision.

Rural New Zealand and affected beekeepers have waited 12 weeks for a decision from government. Over this period, beekeepers are watching their livelihoods disappear as they watch their bees die through government inaction.

The prevarication must stop.

The following are the key issues for consideration: * An acceptance of varroa will almost certainly mean * a decrease in production * a loss of productivity * and extra costs for horticultural and agricultural producers.

Rural New Zealand will almost certainly lose work opportunities.

* Most of New Zealand's honey producers have few choices. Their options for the future if varroa mite stays are limited. Varroa could see the demise of all honey production in the South Island.

* New Zealand horticultural and agricultural producers are working hard to enhance New Zealand's clean green image. Applying chemicals to our bee population on an on going basis will severely damage that image.

The cost benefit analysis we are aware of clearly favours eradication. We understand that a control programme will cost almost as much annually as a one off eradication programme.

Given the cost similarities and a chance of success why would government not want to attempt an eradication programme.

Surely better to give it our best shot and fail than not try at all?

All beekeepers, horticultural and agricultural producers would give the government a big tick for this approach.

ENDS Contact: Martin Clements, 04 472 6559; Tom Lambie 026 113 161; Terry Gavin, 09 433 1893.

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