The Government has recently announced that it is to undertake a review of the Biosecurity Act 1993. The work will be carried out at the same time as the review of the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act 2012 (NAIT) which was started earlier in the year. Both Acts are to be reviewed partly as a result of flaws highlighted because of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.
The Biosecurity Act deals with keeping New Zealand's borders secure against and eradicating or managing any harmful pests and diseases that do get into the country. The Act is now more than 25 years old and the Government is concerned that it has not kept up with changes in technology and the number of people and goods which are coming into the country.
The review of the Biosecurity Act will take account of the bovis outbreak, and what has or has not worked so far in dealing with that, and will also review how compensation is managed and what has been learned from the bovis compensation process.
DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand have both indicated broad support for the review of the Biosecurity Act, noting that biosecurity is a key concern for farmers and that the farming sector and the Government need to work together to improve New Zealand's biosecurity system.
Public consultation on the economic issues under the Biosecurity Act (including paying for biosecurity activities and compensation) will finish by the end of 2019, with the remaining issues including environmental, social and cultural outcomes reviewed during 2020.
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