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Commonsense Prevails On Didymo Outbreak

4 October 2005

Commonsense Prevails On Didymo Outbreak

Biosecurity New Zealand is calling for precautions to be taken on all South Island Rivers with the confirmation that Didymo has been found in the Hawea River.

A further suspect find from the Travers River in the upper Buller catchment is still being analysed. The Travers alert follows the Buller discovery earlier this week.

Controlled area notices have been issued for the Waiau, Mararoa, Travers, Buller, Hawea and Clutha (down to the top of Lake Dunstan) Rivers and Lake Rotoiti.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand has been working closely with Biosecurity New Zealand to determine how these measures will affect riverside landowners.

"We are confident that the common sense measures put in place by Biosecurity New Zealand will not impact unnecessarily on farming businesses, said Federated Farmers West Coast President, Basil Meyer.

We are pleased Biosecurity New Zealand confirmed that riverside landowners are not liable for the actions of contractors who work on their properties.

Farmers will need to hold stock away from affected waterways for at least one week, if they are intending to transport them to any area where they can contact uninfected water ways.

We encourage farmers to make contractors aware of Didymo, the risks it poses and the decontamination methods required if moving between affected and unaffected waterbodies.

However, compliance with the provisions of the Controlled Area notice are personal obligations, they do not impose liability on farmers for the actions of contractors, unless the farmer authorises or instructs the contractor to breach the terms of the Controlled Area notice," commented Basil Meyer.


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