Submissions on this proposal closed on December 6 and feedback will now be collated and presented to B+LNZ’s Board of Directors. This will inform the Directors’ decision about whether or not to seek recognition from the Ministry of Primary Industries that B+LNZ has a mandate to sign the Deed.
Dr Chris Houston, B+LNZ’s Manager Technical Policy says the GIA, would give farmers greater input – through B+LNZ – in deciding their biosecurity needs and how incursions are responded to.
While sheep and beef farmers have identified that biosecurity is amongst the biggest risks to their industry, under the status quo, the Government makes all the final decisions relating to readiness and response.
Dr Houston says signing the GIA would give farmers increased certainty and control over their biosecurity destiny.
“We would be better-prepared, have a pre-agreed set of minimum readiness and response commitment between industry and government and agreed limits on our potential cost-share for readiness and response activities.”
The GIA involves cost-sharing, but it would ensure the sector’s best interests are served around biosecurity risk management and response. Dr Houston says this helps explain why 16 other primary industry bodies have already joined.
“If B+LNZ were to choose to remain outside of GIA, MPI will seek to directly recover the costs of any readiness or response activities from which the sector benefits.”