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FFNZ Welcomes Budget Biosecurity Boost

Farmers have welcomed the Government's increased spend on biosecurity and trade security.

Budget 2003 allocates $2.457 million over four years for aircraft, passenger, and mail clearance. A further $2.3 million has been allocated for exotic disease response capability, specifically for foot and mouth disease.

"Biosecurity is much more than border protection, said Mr Lambie.

"It is about good surveillance and rapid response in the event of a biosecurity breakdown."

The Federation has also welcomed the Government's investment in protecting New Zealand's reputation as a safe trading partner through a significant boost in the staffing and funding of the New Zealand Customs Service.

"This year's budget sees an increase in Customs operating expenditure for trade security of almost $9 million and a significant capital investment in x-ray technology.

"The reality of 20,000 jobs losses and a $10 billion drop in GDP in the event of an FMD outbreak reinforces the need for Government to ensure that biosecurity is resourced to the same levels as other security agencies."

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