Sheep and beef farmers urged to have a say on GIA

Sam McIvor
Sam McIvor.

Sheep and beef farmers are being urged to have their say on a proposal to give the sector direct input in readiness and response to biosecurity threats before consultation ends.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ Ltd), in conjunction with DairyNZ and Deer Industry New Zealand, is asking farmers for their views on a proposal to sign a Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response Deed (GIA).

Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ, says farmers interested in making a submission need to do so by 6 December.

“This is an important opportunity for farmers to shape how the sheep and beef sector prepares and responds to biosecurity threats and incursions.

“We’re encouraging sheep and beef farmers to read the information pack they will have received and complete the submission form.

“Farmers have told us that protecting New Zealand from pests and disease incursions is vital for the future prosperity of the sector.

“Currently we have little say in deciding how the biosecurity needs of sheep and beef farmers are met. The Government makes all the final decisions.

“The GIA is our door ‘into the tent’ with the Government and other sectors and will give us a share in decisions that affect our farmers, particularly around funding and response.”

Signing the GIA will give farmers and the sector increased certainty and control over the industry’s own biosecurity destiny, he says.

“It means we would be better-prepared, have a pre-agreed set of minimum readiness and response commitments between industry and government, and agreed limits on our potential cost-share for readiness and response activities.”

Following the end of the consultation on 6 December, B+LNZ will review the submissions and other feedback before making a decision about whether or not to seek ratification from the Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity that farmers have given B+LNZ a mandate to sign the GIA Deed.

Farmers can find out more information about the GIA by visiting http://www.beeflambnz.com/gia

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