Biosecurity

Minister blasts NAIT

[20 February/Rural News] According to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) clearly hasn’t worked as it should have. He brought this up because of the recent Mycoplasma bovis outbreak which has caused problems across the board. Mr O’Connor said that he doesn’t blame farmers as there is a lack of clear...

Japanese shipment full of ‘stink bugs’ a biosecurity risk

[15 February/The Country] Federated Farmers has called on the Ministry for Primary Industries to hold firm on a shipment which had been previously turned away from the Ports of Auckland. The ship was deemed a biosecurity risk after over 100 brown marmorated stink bugs were found. It was carrying vehicles from Japan and has subsequently...

Mycoplasma bovis: Number of infected properties rises to 23

[9 February/The Country] Twenty-three farms have now been found to be infected with the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis. The latest two were in Southland and South Canterbury. The Ministry for Primary Industries said all infected properties were under quarantine controls. The Ministry reiterated that all detections to date were linked to the original infected properties...

Farmer compensation for cattle disease to cost over $100m: Nathan Guy

[9 February/NZ Farmer] According to the National Primary Industries’ spokesman, Nathan Guy, compensation for farmers who were affected by the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease could exceed $100 million. However, Mr Guy added that farmers would likely be told to learn to live with the disease once the Cabinet had decided their spending priorities. He noted...

Travellers win with plans to cut New Zealand Border Clearance Levy

[4 February/ NZ Herald] The boarder travel tax charges imposed in 2016 to help pay for Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries inspections are to be reduced, which the government is arguing is good news for travellers. The Border Clearance Levy paid by air travellers is to drop by nearly $3, and for cruise passengers...

Middlemarch property positive for Mycoplasma bovis

[6 February/NZ Herald] A property in Middlemarch in Otago has been identified as having tested positive for the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease, the 21st property to have been detected with the disease.  In addition there are 34 properties that are under restricted place notices.  The Ministry for Primary Industries reiterated that all detections are still...

Mycoplasma bovis: Cow disease now on 20 farms

[30 January/Radio NZ Rural] The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced that two further farms have tested positive for cattle disease, Mycoplasma Bovis.  The new farms are located in South Canterbury, where the initial outbreak of the disease was detected, and Southland.  There are now 20 infected properties across South and Mid Canterbury, Southland and...

Cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis now on 17 farms

[18 January/ NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed that three further farms had been confirmed as infected with the Mycoplasma bovis bacterial cattle disease.  David Yard, the incident controller for MPI, said that eradication remains the preferred option and the Ministry believes this is possible.  He note that they believe the disease...

Sausage smuggler refused entry into NZ

[12 January/ Radio NZ National] A man travelling to New Zealand from Belgium has been refused entry to the company when he was discovered to have concealed pork and salami sausages from Biosecurity officers at Auckland Airport.  The man was found to have intentionally concealed the sausages in a backpack but they were identified by...

Milk to be tested nationwide

[12 January/Southland Times] The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced that in response to the Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak in dairy cows milk testing will be conducted nationwide from February.  Milk surveillance has already been commenced in the impacted regions (Southland, Otago and Canterbury) but expanding the programme will provide more information to enable the Ministry...

Damien O’Connor steps up fight against cattle disease with likely Cook Strait travel ban

[15 December/Stuff] Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, has indicated that a ban is likely to be put on cattle being transported across the Cook Strait in an effort to stop the spread of Mycoplasma Bovis. He has also indicated that farmers that have the disease may lose their anonymity. Minister O’Connor said that the...

Auckland company Engender seeks $20m to commercialise bull sperm sexing technology

[8 December/ Stuff] Engender has announced that it would be seeking $20 million in order to commercialise its technology which would allow farmers to select the sex of their calves. Engender has pioneered new techniques to sex semen, using high-tech microfluidic and photonic chips that sorted sperm by sex. One of the likely benefits would...

Mycoplasma bovis – culling continues, MPI quashes ‘stories’

[7 December/ NZ Herald] Cattle culling has continued on the South Canterbury dairy farms infected with Mycoplasma bovis. All cows from the first two farms in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ depopulation programme had been removed for slaughter. After the infected herds had been culled, the farms would be disinfected and go into a stand...

Anti-1080 group threat to take down helicopters, poison milk

[5 December/ NZ Herald] An anti-1080 group has threatened to bring down Department of Conservation helicopters if it dropped the controversial pesticide in Taranaki’s Egmont National Park. In a letter to the Department of Conservation, the group said “this will be a war like no other” and “these hunters have more guns that you or...

Leptospirosis strain discovered in alpaca for first time floors researchers

[4 December/ Stuff] A leptospirosis strain has been found in New Zealand alpaca for the first time. The disease was more common in dairy cows and could occasionally be passed on to dairy and abattoir workers. In humans, the disease could appear as a minor flu-like sickness, but may put some people in intensive care...

Myrtle rust infected sites in Taranaki grows as summer approaches

[24 November/ Stuff] Nine new infestations of the myrtle rust disease have been found in Taranaki during the past two weeks, bringing the total number of infected sites in the region to 82 since the disease was first detected in May. Ministry for Primary Industries Incident Controller, Catherine Duthie said six of the nine new...

Mycoplasma bovis found on another farm

[15 November/ New Zealand Herald] Mycoplasma bovis has been found on another farm in the South Island. Over four thousand cattle have been culled since the disease was discovered in New Zealand in July. Since its discovery, it has been detected on eight properties in Canterbury and Otago. The Ministry for Primary Industries said one...

Auckland Airport brings out new measures to combat biosecurity risk

[14 November/New Zealand Herald] A new biosecurity X-ray machine targeting hand luggage carried by international passengers will be trialled at Auckland Airport this summer. The Ministry for Primary Industries said the new machine could potentially improve biosecurity and passenger flow at the airport. MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman noted smaller hand luggage has the...

Farmer groups looking at more biosecurity influence

 [26 October/Stuff] Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) along with DairyNZ and Deer Industry New Zealand will meet with farmers to discuss signing the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response Deed (GIA). The GIA would give the sector more responsibility in biosecurity, led by the Government. B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor said the...

‘Just a matter of time’ before foot and mouth disease reaches New Zealand

[16 October/ Stuff] DairyNZ Biosecurity Readiness and Response Manager Chris Morley said Foot and Mouth disease’s arrival in New Zealand is guaranteed and just a matter of time. Mr Morley said an MPI study conducted two years ago showed Food and Mouth disease, at a small to medium-sized outbreak, would cost New Zealand $16 billion....

Release of pest-eating wasp a relief to Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay potato and tomato growers

[11 October/ Stuff] Tomato potato psyllid (TPP), a plant-eating insect has cost the New Zealand potato industry over $120 million since its discovery in 2006 and may be eradicated due to the tamarixia trioaze wasp. The wasp, originating from the United States and Mexico, destroys the tomato-potato psyllid pest by laying an egg on the...

Catching predators to protect birds

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] The goal of Predator Free Acacia Bay is to make the bay predator free. Backyard traps were available at a large discount at the Predator Free Acacia Bay Launch party last Saturday. The launch party included a workshop to show the smarter, safer way to protect New Zealand’s native bird...

Northland pest plant lantana finds rust fungus never sleeps

[6 October/ New Zealand Herald] The rust fungus weapon, Prospodium tuberculatum, released in Northland in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), with support from Northland Regional Council (NRC) is taking effect, and has caused an evident decrease in the population size of the pest, Lantana. Prospodium tuberculatum keeps the population of the Lantana pest...

Anti-1080 vandalism

[2 October/ New Zealand Herald] A Department of Conservation Contractor’s car wheel flew off while he was driving due to the wheel nuts being loosened. The department believed this was part of anti-1080 protests and has reported three cases to the police where the wheel nuts were tampered. The department believes the vandalism was intended...