[16 June/ Stuff]
Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy said velvet leaf outbreaks and farmer attempts to prevent its spread shows farmers would eventually border patrol pests and diseases on their farms by partaking in more stringent inspections of vehicles and goods entering their properties. Mr Guy said everyone is more mindful of the importance of biosecurity, and priority should be placed on mitigating the risk of a potential disease or pest coming to New Zealand. Mr Guy added the myrtle rust appearance, raised awareness of biosecurity. An $18 million budget had been set this year for biosecurity which increased funding to about $250 million. Mr Guy added New Zealanders needed to increase protectionist efforts, and the budget could increase education, frontline people, detection dogs, X-rays, ability to review import health standards and in general the country’s ability to keep more bugs and diseases offshore.