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Biosecurity is critical for our industry.
A major disease such as Foot and Mouth Disease would devastate the industry, and reduce New Zealand’s GDP by almost 8 per cent. While major diseases are fortunately rare, our sector is faced with ongoing risk of incursions of potentially harmful pests and diseases. While these incidents do not attract much public attention, they nevertheless could incur significant costs.
Industry and government work together in partnership on biosecurity. MIA has been cooperating with the Government in improving biosecurity readiness, such as through our involvement in a joint industry-government Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Preparedness Programme. MIA is currently consulting its members on a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) on biosecurity readiness and response. This would see the red meat sector become full partners with MPI on biosecurity readiness and response, in which the industry has joint decision-making with MPI on biosecurity incursions affecting the sector, and pay our fair share of the resultant response costs.
A key tool in ensuring that the industry is ready for a biosecurity incursion are Risk Organism Response Plans (RORPs), in which each processing plant has a plan to respond to biosecurity threats. MIA have developed a common RORP template for processors, as well as a training DVD for biosecurity preparedness.