Biosecurity

East Asian harlequin ladybird raises concerns after sightings in Kaitaia

[14 May/The Country] A new variety of ladybug has established itself on our shores and has now been found in Kaitaia. The East Asian harlequin ladybird was first found in 2016 in New Zealand but appears to now be widespread. It does not pose a threat to human health, but can help out the gardeners...

Myrtle rust found on West Coast

[10 May/The Country] Myrtle Rust has been detected on the West Coast for the first time, on a young pohutukawa tree in Greymouth. This is after DOC announced last year that the disease had spread from the North Island to the Tasman region. Myrtle rust attacks myrtle species, including pohutukawa, manuka, kanuka and rata. Pohutukawa...

African swine fever in China will affect NZ dairy sector: report

[10 May/Rural Life] Rabobank have released a report which states that China’s outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) will have an effect on the New Zealand dairy sector. China produces around 50% of pork globally and the ASF epidemic is expected to reduce this amount by 25%-35% which will result in higher demand for alternative...

Moths may be the key to controlling spreading infestations of horehound

[09 May/Stuff NZ] Two species of moth are going to be used to try control the spread of horehound, a weed costing the country millions of dollars a year. Horehound is a member of the mint family and is becoming widespread, particularly in drier regions such as Canterbury, Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and the Wairarapa. Crown...

Independent report to focus on Mycoplasma bovis surge

[07 May/The Country] An independent report has been commissioned to look at the causes and effects of the recent Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme surge. The report will also suggest further improvements, with the report being released to farmers. The Ministry for Primary Industries last month announced that there were 300 farms considered high-risk, with around...

Department of Conservation and Northland Regional Council declare war on koi carp and rudd

[30 April/The Country] Both the Department of Conservation and the Northland Regional Council have announced that they will tackle populations of koi carp and rudd and are asking the public to tell them where they are living. Pest fish upset the balance in freshwater systems and affect ecological, cultural and recreational values. Both koi carp...

Northland feijoa crops devastated by fungal disease

[30 April/Stuff NZ] An anthracnose fungal disease has devastated commercial feijoa crops in Northland. The disease causes fruit to fall off trees whilst still small and has wiped out entire crops this season even though a high quality season was predicted due to warm weather. Plant and Food Research scientist Pia Rheinlander stated if it...

Doc urges Hawke’s bay residents to check for myrtle rust in gardens

[24 April/NZ Herald] The Department of Conservation is urging Hawke’s Bay residents to be on the lookout for myrtle rust. Myrtle rust is a fungal disease which has the potential to decimate myrtle species found in New Zealand. The disease generally attacks soft new growth such as shoots, buds and flowers. The pest has the...

Bovis restrictions on more farms

[18 April/Farmers weekly] More farms than usual will be put under restrictions over winter as part of the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme.  M bovis Programme Director Geoff Gwyn reported increasing activity in the lead-up to winter stock movements will help control disease spread and give farmers as much certainty as possible heading into the busy...

Farmers face hefty penalties for flouting NAIT rules

[16 April / Stuff NZ] Farmers will face a maximum penalty of $100,000 and corporates $200,000 for not complying with the animal tracing system, NAIT. Wairarapa dairy farmer John Stevenson agrees with the action and states that it is needed to protect the future of the dairy industry. The new fines were announced by Agriculture...

Kiwis discover insects that weren’t known in their native countries

[15 April/The Country] Scientists from the Bio-Protection Research Centre have described and named two new exotic insects present in New Zealand that weren’t previously known about even in their native countries. Two psyllids (also called jumping plant lice) Acizzia errabunda and Ctenarytaina insularis were found in the country. They are very small insects, no longer...

Stewart Island oyster farmers get $2.5m compensation after devastating parasite found

[12 April/Stuff NZ] Big Glory Bay oyster farmers on Stewart Island have been paid out nearly $2.5 million in compensation after being forced to close their businesses. Biosecurity New Zealand senior manager John Sanson reported 31 compensation claims had been received from oyster farmers at Big Glory Bay no new claims had been received since...

Controls on fruit and vegetables lifted after no new fruit flies found in Auckland

[12 April/Stuff NZ] No more Queensland fruit flies have been found on Auckland’s North Shore and controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables have been lifted. Biosecurity New Zealand made the decision after weeks of an extensive trapping and inspection program. Since the last fruit fly was found over a month ago, they are...

NAIT registration draws interest at Central Districts Field Days

[11 April/The Country] Several hundred farmers updated their NAIT details at the OSPRI stall at the Central Districts Field Days. Mr Watson, a lifestyle farmer updated his details and reported that other farmers should do the same especially after the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. The M. bovis outbreak was made easier to track due to the...

National plan for Mycoplasma bovis focused on eradication and support

[05 April/The Country] The Ministry for Primary Industries, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand released a 2019 Mycoplasma bovis National Plan to farmers which is designed to support farmers. The plan sets out three goals, eradication, and reduction of impact of the disease and to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system. On Friday, MPI hare...

MPI planning even stricter import rules to keep stink bug out

[04 April/Stuff NZ] Ministry for Primary industries has proposed changes to import standards for vehicles and containers with the intention of keeping the brown marmorated stink bug out of New Zealand. Biosecurity New Zealand spokeswoman Dr Cath Duthie reports that the pest is continuing to spread through Europe and the United States. The Ministry is...

South Wairarapa and Upper Hutt beehives hit by deadly infestation

 [04 April/Stuff NZ] Many South Wairarapa and Upper Hutt areas are now a high risk area for the American Foulbrood Disease (AFB). 275 hives owned by a single beekeeper were infected with the disease, and are in multiple sites region wide. National AFB Management Plan manager Clifton King said it was the worst infestation he...

World is watching New Zealand: Mycoplasma bovis expert

[04 April/Stuff NZ] It has been reported that the world is watching New Zealand on the way it attempts to control and eliminate the Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) problem reports mycoplasma consultant Dr Roger Ayling. M.bovis was first detected in New Zealand in July 2017 and New Zealand has taken a swift approach to dealing with...

Support for biosecurity levy

[26 March/Rural News] 61 percent of submissions received by DairyNZ on the biosecurity response levy were positive surrounding raising the maximum cap to 3.9 cents/kgMS. 1088 supportive submissions were received. Jim van der Poel, DairyNZ Chair reports that the next step is providing a recommendation to the Ministry for Primary Industries. General support wants DairyNZ...

New online Mycoplasma bovis tool

[25 March/Rural News] A new online dairy tool is helping farmers understand the Mycoplasma bovis risk on their farms. The Dairy Risk assessment tool is an online questionnaire developed by the NZ veterinary group XLVets and is distributed by the NZVA (New Zealand Veterinary Association). NZVA chief veterinary officer Helen Beattie reports that dairy farmers...

Nait a difficult beast but NZ ‘had no chance’ against M. bovis without it

[25 March/Stuff NZ] Only one of 150 farms who had their animal movements checked as part of the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme had complete and accurate information, indicating how important NAIT is. The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme relies on farmers updating animal movements on and off their properties. Issues with the system...

Avocado-wrecking beetle discovered in New Zealand

[25 March/Stuff NZ] For the first time, the granulate ambrosia beetle has been detected in five Auckland areas in the past month. Biosecurity New Zealand has asked the public to report any sign of the wood-boring beetle which is regarded as a pest overseas. Biosecurity New Zealand is trying to establish whether the beetle has...

$2 levy for beef’s M bovis response

[22 March/Farmers Weekly] Beef farmers look set to pay a $2 per head levy for the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme as part of a short term measure. Consultation will begin soon on raising the beef producer biosecurity levy from 45c a head. The levy will not apply to cull dairy cows their share of the...

TB free has its end goal in sight

[21 March/Farmers Weekly] Chris Irons, Chairman on Waikato’s Ospri TB committee reports that the programme is getting to the crucial stage of complete eradication of bovine tuberculosis. The programme is heading towards its goals of no disease in livestock by 2026 and from wildlife in 2040. Mr Irons reports that the end is near, and...