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Biosecurity Blunder Lets Down NZ

22 December 2006

Biosecurity Blunder Lets Down NZ

New finds of varroa in the Sherry River area near Nelson have left the varroa elimination in serious trouble, said Lin McKenzie, chair of the Bee Industry Group.

“The joint government/industry elimination programme was put in jeopardy in September due to a botch-up by Biosecurity New Zealand.

“At that time Biosecurity NZ failed to keep its side of the bargain and poison feral bee colonies in the infected zone around Nelson. The baiting programme was abandoned at the last hour when Biosecurity NZ realised it hadn’t got permission to poison from the patented manufacturer.

The beekeepers did their bit and got rid of the managed hives in the infected zone. However the key to successful elimination is depopulating the infested zone of all its bees. This has not happened because of Biosecurity NZ’s blunder.

“It is unbelievable that Biosecurity NZ could get so close to carrying out a major operation without getting manufacturer approval.

“Feral baiting is an essential element of any elimination programme. This was Biosecurity’s responsibility and they let the team down.

“The discovery of varroa in the Sherry River means the future of the elimination programme is now unstable,” concluded Mr McKenzie.

The Bee Industry Group is an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

ENDS

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