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Draft biosecurity strategy report published


Draft biosecurity strategy report published

The draft biosecurity strategy, released today by the Biosecurity Council, was an important document, Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the strategy, when finalised, would provide a framework for integrating the biosecurity work done by various government departments, local authorities, and others.

"Tight biosecurity is an essential priority for our island nation. Our isolation has kept us free of many pests and diseases that plague other nations. We want to ensure that we stay free of those things that could damage our livelihood and way of life."

The Biosecurity Council's strategy document, Guiding Pacific's Triple Star, is available for public consultation till 28 February 2003. It can be downloaded from www.biosecurity.govt.nz.

Mr Sutton encouraged people to read the draft strategy document and to comment on it.

"Biosecurity is not something just Government officials or politicians do. It's something all New Zealanders are responsible for and should be involved in. That's not just in making sure risk materials aren't brought into the country, but also in working together to do whatever necessary to eradicate pests and diseases if they do make it here."

He said that the effectiveness of our biosecurity measures affected all New Zealanders.

"It has been estimated that a foot and mouth disease outbreak in New Zealand would cut 25 per cent from our standard of living ? something that everyone would notice. Therefore, we all need to work together ? to ensure that border controls are not breached, that biosecurity programmes work effectively, and that these activities are scrutinised."

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