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Lesson From Foot And Mouth Scare

13 May 2005 PR 066/05

Lesson From Foot And Mouth Scare

The claimed foot and mouth release is a reminder to all farmers that they must keep meticulous records to ensure they are eligible for compensation under the Biosecurity Act, said Keith Kelly, the President of Auckland Federated Farmers.

His advice follows Waiheke farmers asking questions and making comments about compensation at a recent meeting on the island. Mr Kelly attended the meeting.

Under Section 162A of the Biosecurity Act 1993, compensation is payable for verifiable losses resulting from the exercise of statutory powers during an investigation or response to a potential or actual biosecurity breach. Losses may stem from damage or destruction of property, or curbs on movement or disposal of property.

"To make a claim, the losses must be verifiable. It is imperative farmers keep good records, have the right documentation, and keep a diary of events on their farm.

"Historical records are important to establish previous trends on the farm, while any extra costs associated with a biosecurity breach must be properly recorded through invoices and receipts.

Any paperwork would cover costs associated with:

• Extra animal feed such as hay and baleage;
• Off-farm grazing;
• Loss of condition of stock, or any other animal welfare issues
• Additional vaccinations and animal treatments;

"Waiheke farmers are encouraged to submit early any compensation claims they may have. Additional claims can also be made for any ongoing losses. If they disagree with the ruling there is a legislated right to arbitration," said Mr Kelly.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry distributed information on compensation claims to farmers at the meeting. This is available from the Biosecurity New Zealand website: www.biosecurity.govt.nz

Mr Kelly said that the Federation has posted or emailed 4500 information sheets to members of four provinces in the north of the North Island. The sheets include practical advice on foot and mouth, symptoms to look for, and important first steps to take if an outbreak is suspected.


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