Over an almost 20-year period between 2000 and 2017, there were almost 72,000 border interceptions by our biosecurity system. Of these, 47% were identified to a species level, meaning there are many unknown ‘things’ making their way to New Zealand and turning up at our borders.
Biosecurity risk is always present and while there are a lot we know about, like the high-profile Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), there are many unknown risks around the world and a high diversity of threats with the potential to reach our shores. So, what does that mean? It means that although we have a world-class biosecurity system – including diagnostics – if a new arrival is going to be a threat, early detection is crucial to limit impacts and support eradication.
Growers, contractors, and anyone else on-orchard are the best people to spot anything new or strange early on. Stay vigilant, be on the lookout, and report the unusual to KVH on 0800 665 825, or call the Biosecurity New Zealand pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.