KVH urges to maintain stink bug treatments

12 November 2015

KVH has prepared a submission on behalf of the kiwifruit industry on MPI’s proposed changes to the Import Health Standard (IHS) for vehicles, machinery and tyres.

One of the main proposed changes to the Standard, which is of concern to the kiwifruit industry, is the proposal to reduce treatments for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) that apply to vehicles and machinery imported from the USA. The MPI proposal is that these requirements be reduced from ‘year-round’ to a defined ‘stink bug season’ only (September to April).

BMSB is one of the kiwifruit industry’s ‘Most Unwanted’ pests. It affects multiple crops and is a serious public nuisance pest. Vehicles imported from the USA have demonstrated to be the highest risk pathway for this pest, given the serious nature of the outbreak there.

MPI and industries, including the kiwifruit industry, have an active programme in place to keep BMSB out of NZ and be prepared if it arrives. This includes heightened measures at the border and offshore, national and regional awareness campaigns and a significant programme of research and response planning.

While the number of stink bugs intercepted at the border is low outside of the proposed stink bug season, US experience and molecular studies suggest it only takes a small number of individuals (as low as two individuals) for this organism to establish. And this is possible outside of the proposed ‘stink bug season’ (our autumn/winter period) in warmer northern parts of NZ and suitable microclimates.

KVH believes continuing year-round offshore treatment of US imported vehicles and machinery is technically justified and is urging the government to maintain this. KVH is also calling for further strengthening of protection against BMSB through joint action under Government Industry Agreements (GIA).

Click here for the full KVH submission.