Biosecurity 'shortfalls' blamed for PSA
Wed, 04 Jul 2012 2:59p.m.
By Lloyd Burr with NZN
A devastating kiwifruit disease which has cost the New Zealand industry millions of dollars entered the country because of shortfalls in biosecurity checks and import requirements, an independent review has found.
The reports highlights a number of ‘major shortcomings’ in the systems and processes at the Ministry of Primary Industries.
PSA, a bacterial infection which can kill kiwifruit vines, broke out in the Bay of Plenty in 2010 after it made it into New Zealand undetected.
Processes and import requirements that were in place at the time are being blamed for the breakout, with the report finding MPI failed to response to the threat PSA posed to New Zealand after the bacteria was found in Italy.
Responding to this risk was ‘fragmented and delayed’, the report states.
In Australia compulsory testing of all imported pollen was enforce, while in New Zealand, a risk assessment wasn’t even carried out. A special bio security threat committee never discussed PSA and a specialised risk team had no idea pollen was being imported here.
The shortcomings are primarily due to the “lack of a strategic view” of the risk posed to the kiwifruit industry, the report states, and is not able to be pinned on one person.
The report states the causes for PSA entering the border:
The existence of PSA is expected to cost the kiwifruit industry around $410 million over the next five years.
Despite the report placing blame on the systems in place, Primary Industries director general Wayne McNee says New Zealand has a world-class biosecurity system.
Six recommendations to the Ministry of Primary Industries have been made in the report:
Mr McNee wouldn’t apologise to the orchardists who have been affected by PSA, only saying he was working with them to improve standards and it was not known how it entered New Zealand.
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7/07/2012 4:45:33 a.m.
Hi, And thanks to your efforts for agricultural drummer I am looking for red kiwifruit scion or seed, kiwi, red that it is not within the skin, please help me.
4/07/2012 6:13:23 p.m.
Woohoo, next stop, the ruination of NZ's pork industry, then what, well, take your pick, given that border security has fallen victim to cost cutting as well, cost cutting that will almost inevitably actually end up costing us heaps more than is being "saved"
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