New Zealand pig sector welcomes $18M government biosecurity investment
New Zealand’s pig sector has hailed government plans to spend more than $18M NZD ($12.7 USD) on improving biosecurity as a vital step for the country’s producers.
In its latest budget, the government announced it has earmarked the funding to help secure biosecurity systems and protect New Zealand’s borders over the next four years, reports The Pig Site.
The money will be used to “future-proof” biosecurity by strengthening the country’s ability to manage offshore risks, as well as funding investment in innovative technologies.
It also plans review import health standards to ensure they are up-to-date.
Industry levy board New Zealand Pork said that the investment is vitally important for the country’s pork sector, and reinforces the importance of biosecurity to pig farmers, the economy, and to public health.
“New Zealand’s high animal health status not only provides for better welfare of our animals but also minimizes the need for antibiotic use, unlike most of the countries exporting pork to New Zealand,” said NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter.
While the board already dedicates considerable funding to emerging risks and educating commercial pig farmers about biosecurity, the additional funding is a welcome addition, he said.
“[The NZ pig sector has] an international reputation as a high-health status industry.
“But everyone – from the Government, to ordinary New Zealanders, to overseas visitors – has a role to play in ensuring our borders are protected from pests and diseases, which could cost the primary industry and the wider economy dearly.
“This latest budget injection is a strong signal of the Government’s commitment to the protection of the safe food we enjoy in New Zealand.”