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Clean, Compost And De-sex: Three Habits For This Summer

Clean, compost and de-sex are three simple habits a key biosecurity sector group wants Kiwis to adopt this summer to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases other than Covid 19, even though Covid 19 is front-of-mind for good reason.

The appeal comes from the NZ Biosecurity Institute - the networking organisation for all people involved in all aspects of biosecurity.

Institute President Alice McNatty said that its members have continued to work tirelessly to address wider biosecurity issues, and she wants to encourage people to remember other biosecurity threats are ever-present.

Ms McNatty said the Covid 19 response has already asked a lot of all Kiwis.

“We are just asking for their support by adopting three simple habits: clean all equipment that has been in waterways and the outdoors; compost or dispose of garden and aquarium waste at a greenwaste or landfill site; and desex pets and prevent them from roaming.”

Ms McNatty said these are three simple habits people can adopt which will have a huge impact on the long-term health of the environment and also help Biosecurity Institute members do their jobs.

“Some of our worst pests come from gardens or aquariums, others are transferred on equipment and clothing. Domestic pets which are allowed to roam can also have big impacts.

“Every year Institute members spend thousands of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment from the effects of invasive species.”

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“This is work which costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders’ pockets,” Ms McNatty said.

Anyone who thinks they have seen something potentially out of place should contact Biosecurity New Zealand, which has a dedicated pest reporting website, or a regional council or the Department of Conservation.

“We encourage people to investigate before phoning immediately.”

She said other helpful websites for information, or for reporting observations are: Weedbusters, iNaturalist NZ, Find-A-Pest, and BionetNZ.

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