Walkers Threaten Biosecurity Sunday, Apr 13, 2003
New Zealand's focus on biosecurity must be broader than protecting our borders, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) President Tom Lambie.
Federated Farmers has backed calls for greater resources for border control, but reminds Government that allowing free access to farm land has major biosecurity implications.
"Not only would free and ready public access to private property create a huge threat for landowners in terms of animal health and welfare, fire risk, health and safety, it has major implications for New Zealand's biosecurity.
"The Beef Measles outbreak on a property in the North Island last year shows what can happen when someone uninformed has access to a farm.
"Biosecurity is much more than border protection. It is about good surveillance and rapid response in the event of a biosecurity breakdown.
"Given the frequent announcement of new pests appearing well beyond the border every farmer must remain vigilant. Forcing access across their properties must not compromise their business.
"Surely an industry which contributes 17% to GDP and provides one in eight jobs is too important to New Zealand to risk."