I had the absolute chills.
There I was at the airport when one of the border patrol dogs stopped at my bag. Not only did it stop and sniff, but it got involved heavily with my bag.
My heart bottomed out, had I left something in my backpack? Phew it was only an empty bag left over from fruit I'd eaten on the aeroplane. I was amazed and pleased the dog caught it because, if it had contained fruit that had a bug capable of laying waste to the primary sectors, the guilt would have been unbearable.
Biosecurity is every Kiwi's responsibility, as any breach at the border has the potential to impede the primary industries ability to contribute to the economy.
For the last couple of years, different primary sector groups have been signing up to Government Industry Agreements (GIA) on Biosecurity Readiness and Response. GIA is an agreement between the Government and industry to work together and share the costs of readiness and response activities.
This is an agreement to work together and how to work out funding readiness and responses to incursions.
Federated Farmers is one of the members of an incorporated society that brings arable industry parties together.
This will improve our preparedness for any incursion. Readiness is funded out of existing body levies, includes research into possible threats, how to combat them as well as working with MPI to improve border security.
Response will initially be funded by the Government and after negotiation the special biosecurity levy will be raised to fund the benefiting industries share of the cost, usually over a 10-year period and at a fiscal cap negotiated with involved parties.
We've had plenty of unwanted pests and diseases in the past few years including Mycoplasma bovis, Kauri dieback and Psa. MPI has responsibility for the management of our border, but we all have roles to play if we want to keep our existing standard of living.