The NZ Biosecurity Institute says it is pleased a ship carrying the livestock food supplement palm kernel expeller (KPE), has not been allowed to discharge its cargo in New Zealand.
Institute President, Darion Embling said he understands part of the ship’s cargo came from an unregistered facility in Malaysia.
“This means the place of origin can not be relied upon when it comes to assuring New Zealand officials that the cargo is free of unwanted organisms.
“We understand some attempts were made by the importer to have the cargo treated in New Zealand after the fact.
“This has not been permitted and it sends a strong and most likely costly message to those involved that we take border biosecurity seriously.
“We are pleased at the decision because it shows the Ministry of Primary Industries which is the government department responsible for Border Biosecurity is serious about sending that message around the world.”
He said a recent arrival of fodder beet seed which also contained the pasture pest velvet leaf shows how easy it is for unwanted organisms to get through despite apparent checks and balances.
The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in biosecurity. Its 450 members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments.
All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.
Every year the Biosecurity Institute’s members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment of the effects of introduced pests.
“This is work which costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders’ pockets,” he said.