I want to relate a true story. A couple of weeks ago we met a South Island dairy farmer that had been caught up in the M. Bovis response. We spoke about what this had meant for him and his business – none of it good other than that he was now able to get on with life. We talked about his farm hygiene protocols and he explained what he’d been doing during the surveillance period. We then asked what he was doing now. His response was surprising. “Nothing”.

I guess his view was that he could always introduce hygiene protocols again in the future if something new appeared. I didn’t have an answer for him at the time, but I do now; taking this position ignores two important risks – that the new threat could have been around for some time before it’s discovered and he’s ignoring the possibility that already known profit reducers like BVD, Rotavirus, Cryptosporidium, velvet leaf, Chilean needle grass…. are just one uncaring gumboot (or any other risk vector) away from impacting his business.

Biosecurity is not compliance – it’s insurance and its value is real. Good, consistently applied biosecurity practices minimise the weed and pest line in all food producers’ budgets. hashtagbiosecurity hashtagbiosecurityNZ hashtagcleanoncleanoff