Biosecurity

Myrtle rust detection programme wound down

[5 September/Stuff] Biosecurity New Zealand has stopped its surveillance programme for myrtle rust. Staff were either laid off or reassigned in the process. The focus has moved to long term management of the disease. Project Crimson Conservation Manager, Caroline Wallace, said the disease did not seem to be as severe on Pohutukawa as first thought....

Five-day relief for fruit growers

[24 August/Rural News] The court ordered a five day relief to nurseries and orchardists that faced losing tens of thousands of apple and stonefruit plants imported from the U.S. It meant the Ministry for Primary Industries would need to re-engage with the orchardists and nurseries. Justice Francis Cooke said he found the Ministry applied the...

Nathan Guy – NAIT Bill ‘goes too far’

[17 August/The Country] The NAIT Amendment Bill introduced by the Government last Thursday, and passed under urgency makes rushed changes to the Act which should concern farmers according to National Agriculture Spokesperson, Nathan Guy. The Bill changes the NAIT Act to allow for warrantless inspections of farms, clarifies animal movement requirements, and makes it an...

Farmers back NAIT changes

[18 August/Rural News] Farmers are backing the amended National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Act that was passed under urgency by Parliament. DairyNZ Chief Executive, Tim Mackle, said it had become clear that some farmers hadn’t been taking the requirements to record animal movements as seriously as they should have been. He added DairyNZ supported...

MPI taken to court by apple and stonefruit growers

[9 August/NZ Herald] A group of apple and stonefruit growers have taken legal action against the Ministry for Primary Industries in a response to its order to destroy tens of thousands of plants with claimed potential future losses of $1.5 billion. The group said flawed decision making could kill innovation in the sector. It requested...

Fruit fly found at Auckland Airport could have ‘devastated’ horticulture industry

[2 August/Stuff] According to Biosecurity NZ, a fruit fly could have devastated New Zealand’s horticulture industry if it wasn’t discovered at Auckland Airport. It came on undeclared food from Malaysia last month. Biosecurity NZ Passenger Manager, Craig Hughes, said many horticulture crops were susceptible to attack by fruit fly. Affected crops could be inedible or...

Importers respond to MPI warning about delays

[25 July/NBR] The Ministry for Primary Industries has warned importers will face delays as they complete biosecurity protocols. The delays are due to a high court decision ruling the Government is liable for letting Psa into the country. The Government will appeal the decision. Car importers also faced a scare this year when stink bugs...

Farmers face levy hike to cover cost of cattle disease

[25 July/Stuff] MPI has announced a further two farms have been infected with Mycoplasma bovis. Farmers face the prospect of a higher industry levy to help pay for eradication costs. The farms were linked to other known infected properties through animal movements. Negotiations continued over the question of how much dairy farmers would pay compared...

Beetle find sends imported stock food to Whangarei lock-up

[23 July/The Country] A shipment of beetle infested stock food is in a lockup near Whangarei after being treated with methyl bromide. The cargo was from Indonesia, and was intercepted before it could be unloaded and distributed in June. Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group Vice-Chairman, David Clark, said it was symptomatic of a fundamental failure...

Capsicum shortage hits supermarkets

[22 July/Radio NZ] Due to biosecurity concerns, capsicums could be in short supply at supermarkets for a few weeks. Countdown and Foodstuffs have both encountered problems with some of their overseas shipments. Foodstuffs said it had issues with three shipments from the Netherlands. It added it was continuing to source locally grown capsicums but there...

New round of testing to begin for ‘M. bovis’

[18 July/Rural Life] The Ministry for Primary Industries will carry out a second round of milk testing nationwide to test for Mycoplasma bovis. Under the programme, milk samples from every dairy farm in New Zealand would be taken shortly after the start of calving. Samples would be collected around four weeks following the start of...

M. bovis hits more beef than dairy

[24 July/Dairy News] According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, more beef than dairy farms are infected with Mycoplasma bovis. An update showed 40 properties as being infected. Of these farms, 20 were beef farms, 17 were dairy farms and 3 were marked as other. It was originally detected in the dairy sector, but affected...

North Canterbury dairy farm infected

[11 July/Stuff] A North Canterbury dairy farm was confirmed as being infected with Mycoplasma bovis. According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, it was connected through animal movements to other infected farms. So far, around 28,000 out of the expected 150,000 animals had been culled in an attempt to get rid of the disease. The...

Ministry defends kauri dieback programme performance

[5 July/Radio NZ] The Ministry for Primary Industries defended its leadership of the kauri dieback programme. Dr Amanda Black of the Lincoln University Bio-Protection Research Centre said the programme was a trainwreck. She added there was week governance around the programme, and people involved with management of the programme did not know how to procure...

More M. bovis disclosure wanted – Whanganui farmers

[26 June/The Country] Farmers want to know whether their neighbours have the Mycoplasma bovis disease, however the Ministry for Primary Industries has been avoiding outing infected farms to the public. Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said it would now directly inform the neighbours of infected or high risk farms. It would also list the NAIT numbers...

Mycoplasma bovis: Four of 10 experts recommended managing disease

[25 June/Radio NZ] A panel of experts that was set up to advise the Government on Mycoplasma bovis has provided more details on its six to four vote in favour of eradication over management. The option of culling infected animals and using continual testing to work towards eradication was chosen out of four options. Six...

OSPRI boss resigns

[25 June/Rural News] OSPRI Chief Executive, Michelle Edge, has resigned and will leave the organisation in September. Ms Edge said the company had achieved significant outcomes over the past three years, including a complete restructure and change management and business improvement programme. She added it had achieved significant developments in terms of its core programmes....

Four more M bovis farms confirmed

[25 June/Stuff] Four more South Island sheep and beef farms had been confirmed as being infected with Mycoplasma bovis taking the total infected properties to over 50. The farms were in Tapanui, Invercargill, Waimate and Darfield. The Ministry for Primary Industries said 53 farms had been confirmed with Mycoplasma bovis, with 11 of the farms...

Joint operation to check NAIT compliance

[22 June/Rural Life] Knowledge of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system has increased due to the Mycoplasma bovis response, however some farmers continued to break the rules. Compliance Investigations Manager, Gary Orr, said the Ministry for Primary Industries and NAIT had been running joint operations across the country to check compliance. The disease...

Federated Farmers asks rural school to ban calves

[22 June/The Country] Traditional pet days at rural schools could be banned until the threat of Mycoplasma bovis is removed. Federated Farmers is asking schools to exclude all breeds of calves from their 2018 Ag Day programmes to reduce the risk of infection being transmitted between calves being transported to schools. Lambs, goats and other...

Biosecurity onus on all of us, says Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor

[13 June/NZ Herald] Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said all New Zealanders needed to participate in biosecurity as a reflex action. He told KPMG’s Fieldays Agribusiness Leaders’ Breakfast about the Government’s Biosecurity 2025 direction. An important part was to create better understanding of the importance of biosecurity for every New Zealander. He noted thinking...

Economists concerned by risk of mycoplasma bovis

[7 June/The Country] According to economists, economic risks associated with Mycoplasma bovis were rising. Last week, the eradication attempt was announced at a cost of $886 million, and the slaughter of 126,000 cattle. BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel, said there was more to it than just the initial impact on production from culling cows. Costs...

Envoy recommends eradication

[11 June/Otago Daily Times] New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy, Mike Petersen, said Mycoplasma bovis was more serious than reports had so far indicated. He said in Europe it was a difficult disease with impacts on farms, and could be fatal for some livestock. He believed the decision to eradicate the disease was the right...

M bovis count adds up to Wairarapa farm infection

[7 June/Radio NZ] A sheep and beef farm in Wairarapa tested positive for the devastating cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. MPI unit, Biosecurity New Zealand, said the farm near Masterton was located through the tracing of animal movements from other affected farms. The property was under legal controls which restricted the movement of animals and other...