'M. bovis' responder a finalist

A North Otago and South Canterbury group, founded as a response to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, has been announced as a finalist for a New Zealand Biosecurity Award.

The Ministry for Primary Industries announced 19 finalists in seven categories, including the Morven Action Group - a finalist for the Government Industry Agreement Industry Award.

The group was started by South Canterbury dairy farmer Hugh Le Fleming and Veterinary Centre Oamaru to give farmers at ground zero of the cattle-disease outbreak practical information to protect their animals and businesses.

Farmers and vets in the group created both a Top 11 checklist and biosecurity action plan for farmers, which was shared at meetings with farmers in other regions.

The other finalists in the category are Kiwifruit Vine Health, which has led the industry response to the PSA incursion, and Independent Verification Services Ltd, which created an alternative system for importers of low-risk sea containers that gives responsibility to operators and has produced a measurable reduction in contamination.

Environment Southland was also recognised as a finalist for the Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award for its Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan.

The plan puts in place rules for all vessels entering the area and requires them to obtain a Clean Vessel Pass, ensuring they know and mitigate any risk of bringing an unwanted marine pest to the area.

Winners will be announced at an awards dinner next month in Auckland.

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