Discussions open on New Zealand biosecurity levy rise

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Discussions open on New Zealand biosecurity levy rise

Related tags Beef Livestock

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has begun consulting with farmers on a potential biosecurity levy increase.

Put forward as part of the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) plan, New Zealand farmers will receive consultation packs on an increase to the maximum biosecurity levy for cattle from NZ$0.45/head to NZ$2/head in the coming days.

“The Mycoplasma bovis response has been a difficult time for farmers whose farms are impacted by the response,” said B+LNZ chairman Andrew Morrison.

"Technical challenges with tracing and diagnosing the disease, as well as issues with the processes involved in the response, have highlighted the importance of the beef sector being part of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) on biosecurity, so that we ensure the voices of our farmers are being properly taken into account during the response.”

The consultation is also considering a proposal to raise the maximum amount payable under GIA to NZ$5m per year, which would enable the organisation to meet the costs of the Mycoplasma bovis response as they are being incurred.

“Under the previous maximum biosecurity levy of $0.45/head for cattle, it would have taken nearly 25 years to repay the industry’s share of the M. bovis response – estimated at up to NZ$17m over 10 years,” said Morrison.

“By increasing the maximum biosecurity levy to $2/head, we will be able to repay costs associated with the response in a timely manner.

“As we are also not levying cull dairy cows as part of the M. bovis response, we also need to be able to set different levy rates for different classes of cattle.”

Farmers have until 7 June 2019 to provide their feedback on the increase to the maximum biosecurity levy and can do so either by returning their consultation documents in the mail, or by completing the form online at www.beeflambnz.com/mbovis2019 .

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