The cost of dirty footwear
In late November an agricultural machinery dealer and farmer was issued a $400 fine plus ordered to pay costs and an additional $500 to Biosecurity New Zealand for not declaring dirty boots.
As we all know, footwear and the soil that may be with it, can be a major vector for pests, diseases and weeds into and within a country/region. When entering New Zealand all passengers are required to fill in a passenger arrival card to declare and detail the countries they’ve visited and whether they’ve been on farms or areas where pests can be picked up.
Although the borders are closed to many right now, there is still a lot of domestic travel and this is a great reminder that as per Step 4 of the Kiwifruit Grower Biosecurity Guidelines, growers should always check and where necessary clean risk inputs crossing their orchard boundary to make sure they do not present a biosecurity risk. Growers should ensure all visitors going onto their orchards have clean footwear and additional measures such as sanitising may be warranted for high-risk visitors.