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Livestock farmers join the GIA biosecurity partnership

Livestock farmers join the GIA biosecurity partnership

Key players in the livestock farming sector have taken steps to protect their multi-billion-dollar export industries from pests and diseases by joining other primary sector organisations and Government in the biosecurity fight.

Industry organisations DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand consulted with their farmers over a year ago to join the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA). The final step in the process is the signing of the GIA Deed.

The new arrivals join the GIA partnership made up of 21 industry sectors that have agreed to work with Government, and each other, to deal with pests or pathogens specific to their primary industry sectors. This includes the livestock processing sectors, as represented by Dairy Companies Association of NZ and the Meat Industry Association of NZ.

DairyNZ’s Chair, Jim van der Poel, said formally joining the GIA gives dairy farmers an important seat around the table when decisions are being made on biosecurity issues.

“Making decisions in partnership with Government provides the opportunity to influence how our industry is impacted in the event of a biosecurity response and it also ensures that we deliver the best outcomes for our farmers.”

“The recent Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak has put a spotlight on the importance of industry and Government working closely together to deliver better biosecurity outcomes for our farmers. This will give us the best chance of eradication,” said Mr van der Poel.

Andrew Morrison, Chair of Beef + Lamb NZ agreed, saying;

“Our industry welcomes the signing of this agreement as a positive step forward so that we can protect our valuable dairy and red meat and animal product exports,”

GIA’s Deed Governance Group Chair, Jen Scoular, welcomed the two industry groups to the partnership saying they would be a significant addition.

“This marks an important milestone for the GIA partnership. This means New Zealand’s largest primary sector producers are now directly represented in the partnership,” she said.

“It also means that we now have almost every major primary industry group sitting around the decision-making table with Government and the GIA partnership is truly representative of the primary sector. This will allow for better industry skills and information sharing and a coordinated approach to biosecurity.

“GIA provides a unique forum where the Crown and livestock and horticultural sector industries can work together to deliver better biosecurity. We look forward to working in partnership together to deliver better biosecurity,” Ms Scoular said. ENDS

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