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New Bio-security Report to Learn From Past Policies

04 March 2013

New Zealand – A renewed Biosecurity report detailing past observations and future recommendations by the Ministry for Primary Industries was released on Thursday by the Office of the Auditor General.

The report outlines future government approaches to biosecurity incursions and has been well received by the farming industry.

In the report, Lyn Provost, Controller and Auditor-General conceded that no border control is 100 per cent effective. Consequently the ability for New Zealand to deal with intrusions effectively is essential.

Dr Scott Champion, Beef and Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, said the report made a number of observations and recommendations that have previously been identified by a joint-Government and industry report into the current state of readiness for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), published last year.

The report entitled, Preparing for and responding to biosecurity incursions is a follow on from previous biosecurity policy, Exercise Taurus.

This involved a foot and mouth disease incursion simulation to model authority responses to biosecurity threats.

First brought into action in 2005, Exercise Taurus had a strong field operations focus and detailed practical application of biosecurity measures and control.

The Exotic Disease Response Centre in Wallacevillae and the role of the Field Operations Response Team in Palmerston North were both outlined in the initial report which was renewed in 2012 by a much more holistic, government wide strategy.

Dr Champion said, “These and other learnings from Exercise Taurus (a FMD incursion simulation) are the ongoing focus of a collaborative process between the affected livestock industries and MPI to make the improvements required in this area,” he said.

“Gaps in preparedness for FMD, the country’s biggest biosecurity threat, cannot remain and B+LNZ is confident that the analysis work that has already been done along with the cooperation and support of the livestock industries have led to a step change in understanding and motivation to ensure that priority risks are adequately managed.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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