Government announces additional operating funds for biosecurity

Biosecurity welcomes a boost in its operating funding, and according to New Zealand Pork, this is a vital need to New Zealand’s primary industries

Budget 2017 will see more than $18 million of operating funding towards biosecurity over four years to help secure the biosecurity system and protect New Zealand borders.

Renowned globally as the leading industry for high-health pork, the biosecurity budget injection is applauded for the future maintenance of this reputation. This is the government’s nod to its commitment to the protection of safe food.

Ian Carter, chairman of NZ Pork, says the increase in funding shows how important biosecurity is for the primary industry, the economy, and the well-being of all New Zealanders.

He points out that a unique aspect of the industry is to produce pork purely for the local market, and if they are feeding the local neighbours, the maintenance of the health of the herds and the biosecurity of operations is important.

“New Zealand’s high animal health status not only provides for better welfare of our animals but also minimises the need for antibiotic use unlike most of the countries exporting pork to New Zealand,” Ian says.

The international reputation of ‘high-health’ was achieved by NZ Pork’s contribution of operation budget every year, which funded the monitoring of emerging risks and biosecurity threats occurring overseas and provided  high-quality education to commercial pig farmers.

Ian says the government needs to push for Country of Origin labelling, as this would be helpful for local consumers to make informed choices when buying food for families.

However, he adds that the new investment includes an up-to-date review of Import Health Standards (IHS). Yet, this will not include animal welfare components, which are standards that our local industries need to gain PigCare™ accreditation to sell products commercially.

“We believe this is an important distinction—one we’re reinforcing through our new ‘Born and Raised in New Zealand labelling—that Kiwis care about, if they have enough information to make a choice.”

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