Biosecurity Still Not Good Enough Wednesday, Feb 26, 2003
MAF is still inconsistent in keeping our borders safe from unwanted pests, said New Zealand First biosecurity spokesperson Brent Catchpole.
“In the last week more examples have been brought to public attention of an invasion of unwanted pests, one of which MAF has known about for almost two years.
“The Australian gum leaf skeletoniser was discovered in 2001. MAF did not conduct thorough enough surveys and the moth has now spread throughout South Auckland.
“Did MAF not learn their lesson from the mistakes made with the painted apple moth? Biosecurity in this country is a failure and something must be done about it.
“We are reliant on agriculture to survive and this is being put at risk by lax border control.
“It has also been reported that a black widow spider was found in an imported truck in Invercargill. MAF’s response was less than desirable and did not appear too concerned.
“A review done late last year of our border control found that up to one third of biosecurity breaches were well established before any action was taken to eradicate the pests.
“Do we need to have an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease before this problem is taken seriously by this government?” asked Mr Catchpole.
“The government must fix the problem before we are faced with a potential disaster,” concluded Mr Catchpole.