Most farms infected with Mycoplasma bovis may already have been detected but you must be confident you have got the last one, says MPI veterinarian epidemiologist Andy McFadden.
One of the vessels had already been turned away from New Zealand borders before.
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, says MPI should be congratulated for taking the right action in turning back the ships.
He says the pest BMSB could destroy New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable industries. It also infests homes, ruins gardens, and stinks when crushed, says O’Neil.
“It’s not in New Zealand yet and we want to keep it that way – we must do everything we can to keep it out.”
“That is why KVH is pleased with the ongoing diligence of MPI to detect these stink bugs at the border and we fully support the serious steps they have been taking to manage the risk of it getting here, including these recent cases of requiring treatment to take place offshore before allowing high-risk ships and cargo to enter and unload goods at our ports.”
“The decisions may not always be popular with those importing goods, but the rules are very clear, and they are stringent for a reason. Unwanted pests like the BMSB could cause hundreds of millions of dollars damage to the New Zealand economy and heavily affect growers’ livelihoods if it were to establish here.”
Guy Wigley, Federated Farmers’ Biosecurity Spokesperson, says the threat of BMSB to our primary industries is significant and the implications are huge.
“It could damage our economy to the tune of hundreds of millions.”
"This scenario is effectively akin to the Foot and Mouth disease of the crop world- it makes arable and horticulture farmers very nervous and we have to trust in our biosecurity measures."
"The Federation considers biosecurity a top priority and we always advocate for strict enforcement," says Wigley.