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FFNZ Welcomes Biosecurity Centre

26 November 2004 PR 216/04
FFNZ Welcomes Biosecurity Centre

A centre for emerging diseases and biosecurity will improve New Zealand’s capability to safeguard the economy and primary industry from biosecurity risks, says Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc)

The government has approved in principle the establishment of a National Centre for Emerging Diseases and Biosecurity.

“New Zealand must have the best biosecurity system in the world to respond to growing risks of damaging effects of foreign pests and diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD),” says Mr Lambie.

An FMD outbreak in New Zealand would have disastrous consequences for the economy. Dairy, meat and wool exports, which comprise over 40% of our total exports totalling over $13 billion, would be immediately suspended, threatening over 100,000 jobs. With almost 60% of exports and 20% of GDP dependent upon efficient and healthy primary production, there is much to lose.

“New Zealand’s biosecurity status is its most significant competitive advantage. Lose it and we lose everything,” concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS

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