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DairyNZ supports considered, careful biosecurity review

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

DairyNZ endorses a renewed focus on improving biosecurity in New Zealand, following the announcement by Government today.

"As shown with the Mycoplasma bovis disease that entered our shores over two years ago, we are vulnerable to diseases, pests and weeds in New Zealand," said DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

"Protecting our farming sector, and therefore our economy, is vital for our country and we look forward to seeing the detail of the amendment bill to improve NAIT and proposed changes to the Biosecurity Act."

DairyNZ is broadly supportive of a review of biosecurity, having recently commissioned an independent expert M. Bovis report. The process provides an important opportunity to implement key lessons learned from the current M. bovis response - to leave the biosecurity system and support for affected farmers in a stronger position for the future.

"It is also vital we can track animal movements in a way that is easy for our farmers, and effective if disease hits our shores. NAIT has been discussed extensively and we agree with the Government that some changes are needed."

However, DairyNZ is concerned about proposals for NAIT data to be owned by the Crown.

"The initial NAIT review did not include the Crown taking ownership of NAIT data, which is farmer data, and we feel that process would need to be carefully managed. Ownership of farmer data is something we want to be involved in, so farmers concerns are fully addressed.

"We look forward to working with government and our partners, and welcome the opportunity for farmers to have their say on the Biosecurity Act through the consultations."

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