Former Minister for Primary Industries, and retiring MP, Nathan Guy says his plans to invest more than $2 million in a new innovative dairy shed is a vote of confidence in the future of the dairy industry.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Sam McIvor says the additional $18.4m, announced in last week's Budget, recognised that biosecurity was a risk to primary production and a threat to the wider New Zealand economy.
“We’re pleased the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy has made this commitment to biosecurity.
“We realise everyone has a role in biosecurity and it’s an issue farmers take very seriously. Everyday farmers manage invasive weeds, animal health issues and keep watch for new and emerging pests and diseases.
“The sector is a large investor in disease control and biosecurity systems like the TB eradication Plan and NAIT and through the Red Meat Profit Partnership there is work underway for piloting enhanced food safety and biosecurity traceability by making all stock mob movements electronically traceable (electronic Animal Status Declarations eASDs).”
McIvor said B+LNZ has helped to shape the Biosecurity 2025 Strategy and the organisation looked forward to playing its part in helping MPI, along with all New Zealanders in implementing its vision for protecting New Zealand.
Guy says biosecurity has always been his number one priority as Minister because the primary sector is the backbone of our economy.
“Unwanted pests and diseases have the potential to cause major damage to our producers,” Guy says.
“There are increasing demands on our biosecurity system because a growing economy means more people are travelling here and trade volumes are increasing.
“These new initiatives will help us prepare for this challenge and implement the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement, which was publicly released last year and sets out a long-term vision for protecting New Zealand.
“Part of the new funding will be used to manage biosecurity risk off-shore so fewer pests and diseases make it to New Zealand. Import Health Standards (IHS) will be reviewed to ensure the rules around importing goods are strong and up to date,” Guy says.