NBCN new tool against an­i­mal dis­ease im­port

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By STEW WADEY

New buzz­word acro­nym: NBCN ( Na­tional Biose­cu­rity Ca­pa­bil­ity Net­work).

The past 15 months have seen a pe­riod of un­be­liev­able growth and chal­lenges for this NBCN. AsureQual­ity (AQ) and the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) have worked closely to­gether dur­ing this time to en­sure that the part­ner­ship be­tween each other and with NBCN mem­bers, con­tin­ues to grow for the pur­pose of keep­ing New Zealand ‘‘clean and green’’.

They have been very proac­tive in re­cruit­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions into this net­work, the most re­cent I am aware of be­ing Beef and Lamb NZ and NgaTi­wai Trust Board, Whangarei. Many other struc­tured ru­ral or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Mata­mata Dis­trict Fed­er­ated Farm­ers are be­ing asked to con­sider be­ing a NBCN mem­ber, as we can bring both ex­pe­ri­ence and live­stock and man man­age­ment ex­per­tise in re­spond­ing to in­cur­sions in New Zealand.

This re­cruit­ment process will strengthen our ru­ral ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­vide ex­per­tise and re­sources when re­spond­ing to all types of in­cur­sions within the an­i­mal, forestry, hor­ti­cul­tural, marine and en­vi­ron­men­tal sec­tors.

One has to still be mind­ful that in our East Waikato we still have 33 per cent of the na­tional dairy herd, sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of sheep and beef, dairy goats, an­gora goats and deer.

All are cloven hoofed and un­for­tu­nately are very sus­cep­ti­ble to many ex­otic dis­ease that can in some case be zoonotic: they can be trans­mit­ted be­tween species, specif­i­cally from an­i­mals to hu­mans. Zoonoses in­clude all dis­eases that peo­ple can catch from an­i­mals such as wildlife, do­mes­tic an­i­mals, in­sects, pri­mates, and birds.

A sig­nif­i­cant bio se­cu­rity in­cur­sion such as foot and mouth dis­ease will be dev­as­tat­ing for our dis­trict, let alone New Zealand.

Be­ing a live­stock farm­ers does have risk and re­ward, the ma­jor risk for farm­ers with a ma­jor dis­ease out­break is their farm business could be made worth­less over night.

That is why I have made it clear many times in my me­dia com­men­tary, New Zealand bio se­cu­rity is a se­ri­ous topic that I cham­pion.

In­for­ma­tion was re­leased in July, that in one week in Fe­bru­ary in New Zealand, 35 new no­ti­fi­ca­tions of pests, dis­eases or or­gan­isms were re­ported and 156 mat­ters con­tinue to be un­der in­cur­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion or re­sponse.

Eleven new no­ti­fi­ca­tions of food com­pli­ance in­ves­ti­ga­tions and two re­call no­ti­fi­ca­tions were re­ceived – 172 food com­plaints and 28 re­calls are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and/ or re­sponse.

115,082 pas­sen­gers ar­rived in New Zealand and were pro­cessed through in­ter­na­tional air ter­mi­nals – 3079 items were seized and 126 in­fringe­ments were is­sued.

4296 cargo lines were iden­ti­fied – 792 were in­spected and 276 were seized.13,634 sea con­tain­ers ar­rived into New Zealand and 233 ac­tions were taken in re­spect of con­tam­i­na­tion.

212 used ve­hi­cles or ma­chin­ery items were im­ported and 52 re­quired de­con­tam­i­na­tion. 500,000 items of mail ar­rived at the in­ter­na­tional mail cen­tre and 635 re­quired fur­ther in­spec­tion and 103 were deemed to be a risk and were treated or de­stroyed.

Who­ever said that New Zealand was a quiet place?! I do ap­pre­ci­ate the bor­der quar­an­tine staff in all the work they do on our be­half.

But un­for­tu­nately there are sto­ries on how var­roa mite was bought into NZ, how psa got into kiwi fruit or­chards, how rab­bit khaleesi virus was il­le­gally re­leased in parts of NZ (but wel­comed).

Which il­lus­trates that any ma­jor ex­otic dis­ease out­break sta­tis­ti­cally could be ini­ti­ated by our own farmer peers.

Stew Wadey is chair­man of Mata­mata Dis­trict Fed­er­ated Farm­ers

STEW WADEY

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