Farmers affected by Mycoplasma bovis need help and support, but MPI treats them as guilty parties, claims Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Ford.
The Crown appeal seeks to clarify the scope for government regulators to be sued in negligence.
The kiwifruit claim decision in favour of growers has wide implications for biosecurity, says Dr Nic Lees, a senior lecturer in agribusiness at Lincoln University.
The Ministry for Primary Industries says it is welcoming the appealing, stating that The Court's finding traverses events dating back 12 years, pre-dating the establishment of the MPI. MPI says it is continually enhancing and improving the way it manages pre-border risk and import processes at the border.
“We have confidence in our current biosecurity system and its continued robustness. New Zealand enjoys a high level of freedom from the most damaging pests and diseases as a result of the diligent actions of MPI officers, importers and others,” says MPI.
“No biosecurity system in the world can prevent every pest incursion from happening, which is why our ability to manage risk offshore and respond to incursions if they occur are critical parts of the biosecurity system. A strong biosecurity system needs government, importers, industry and the public actively participating and acting to identify and manage risk.”
MPI says the High Court finding has the potential to significantly impact on its biosecurity operations.
“MPI takes its biosecurity responsibilities seriously, and while the decision is being appealed, it must still be applied in the interim. The impact of this for importers and others will be delays in decision-making.”