Wellington, New Zealand
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Geale D.W.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Barnett P.V.,Pirbright Institute | Clarke G.W.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Davis J.,Fisheries and Forestry | Kasari T.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases | Year: 2015

For countries with OIE status, FMD free country where vaccination is not practised, vaccinate-to-live policies have a significant economic disincentive as the trade restriction waiting period is double that of vaccinate-to-die policies. The disposal of healthy vaccinated animals strictly for the purpose of regaining markets with debatable scientific justification is a global concern. The feasibility of aligning the waiting periods to facilitate vaccinate-to-live is explored. The first article of this two-part review (Barnett et al., 2015) explored the qualities of higher potency Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines, performance of differentiating infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) diagnostic assays particularly in vaccinates and carriers, as well as aspects of current limitations of post-outbreak surveillance. Here, the history behind the OIE waiting periods for FMD free status is reviewed as well as whether the risk of vaccinated animals and their subsequent products differ appreciably at 3 versus 6 months. It is concluded that alignment is feasible for vaccinate-to-live using higher potency FMD vaccines within the current OIE waiting period framework of 3 and 6 months blocks of time. These waiting periods reflect precedence, historical practicalities and considered expert opinion rather than a specific scientific rationale. The future lies in updated epidemiological and diagnostic technology to establish an acceptable level of statistical certainty for surveillance or target probability of freedom of FMDV (infection or circulation) not time restricted waiting periods. The OIE Terrestrial Code limits trade from a FMD free country where vaccination is not practiced to animal products and live non-vaccinated animals. The risk of FMDV in products derived from higher potency vaccinated animals is appreciably less than for countries with infected FMD status or even from a FMD free country where vaccination is practised for which the Code has Articles with guidelines for safe trade with time restrictions of 3 months or less. All these presume that key requirements in the implementation of emergency vaccination including appropriate vaccine match, vaccine application, susceptible population coverage, etc. are addressed. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Sobek-Swant S.,University of Waterloo | Kluza D.A.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Cuddington K.,University of Waterloo | Lyons D.B.,Natural Resources Canada
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

We use two ecological niche modeling methods, Maxent and GARP, to model the potential distribution of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis, EAB) in its invaded (Canada, USA) and native range (eastern Asia). For each algorithm (Maxent and GARP), we constructed three different models based on native or invaded data or a combination thereof. All GARP models yielded higher area under the curve (AUC) values and had therefore higher discriminatory power than the corresponding Maxent models, and the area predicted as suitable by GARP in North America was generally larger and included most infested sites even at the known range edges. In Asia, habitat suitability predicted by both algorithms was low and models trained with invaded coordinates did not transfer well to the native range. We found that none of the Maxent models provided a prediction precise enough for reliable risk assessment and the development of management plans, but a GARP model trained in the native range performed well when validated with data from the invaded range. Based on this GARP model, EAB may be able to extend its North American range further south, north and west covering roughly half (49%) of the natural range of the most common affected ash species (Fraxinus americana, F. nigra, F. quadrangulata, and F. pennsylvanica). While our results demonstrate that native data may be useful for risk assessment of invasive species, a validation of early predictions based on these data is only possible with a time lag, which is lacking for most species. Due to uncertainties associated with ecological niche models for invaders, native data may not be sufficient at all times for long-term risk assessment. With regard to the latter, we recommend frequent re-evaluation of models based on more current monitoring. Combining ecological niche models with more mechanistic approaches based on experimental data may reduce uncertainty and improve risk assessment. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | November 25, 2016
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

The tourists are gone, the town is cut off and the sewage is backing up, but businesses in quake-hit Kaikoura are vowing to struggle on. The town was cut off from the rest of New Zealand's South Island when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake destroyed its roads and railway on 14 November. Nearly two weeks later there is still no easy way in or out of the town and its biggest industries - fishing, agriculture and tourism - have ground to an agonising halt, just as it was preparing for peak visitor season. "Quite literally, the money has just stopped coming in," said Matt Foy, the founder of Kaikoura Kayaks. "We've had a couple of tours out with people who were stranded here who have nothing else to do, but at this time of year we should be absolutely heaving." Like many in the town, he is relying on government assistance, considerate banks and donations. A town which relies on tourism, farming and fishing is now struggling to find a way forward. "I hear that people are milking their cows and the milk is going down the drain because there are no tankers coming in to pick that milk up," said Mr Foy. Ben Dalton, deputy director-general at New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said that for the next three months "we have a ban on the taking of paua [abalone], seaweed and shellfish, and a one-month ban on the taking of crayfish". The halt is to allow their populations to recover after the sea bed rose "up to 4m" (13ft) in places, stranding and killing huge numbers of the animals. Much of that sealife is now festering on the shoreline. The town's harbour is also now obstructed and "the sewage system has packed up". If sewage tanks cannot be brought in, it may have to be discharged into the sea. Hana O'Regan is a spokesperson for the Ngai Tahu, the prominent Maori tribe in the region which has a number of seafood, farming and tourism business in Kaikoura. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, the tribe was hosting hundreds of people in the traditional meeting place, the marae, and was helicoptering in supplies to local people. At one point, the people staying in the marae were dining on crayfish salvaged from a Ngai Tahu-owned facility in the town. "It looked very nice on TV, but in reality that was the only food source in town," said Ms O'Regan. She said that with homes still being assessed to see if they're safe to live in, and without any easy way of getting to the town - and with strong aftershocks still hitting - community members "haven't even started talking about what's going to happen next". While people are determined to regroup and think of new opportunities, "at the moment the priority is on the families, the community and keeping people safe". "In terms of the impact on the economy, even the word significant doesn't quite cover it. It's an absolutely gamechanger in what will be able to be done there." The only businesses which have not ground to a complete halt, says Mr Foy, are the bars and cafes. "Everyone needs to eat and go and vent somewhere and have a beer and have a chat about things." Despite delays in reconnecting the town - aftershocks have caused further landslips - there is a determination to carry on. "It's just a hurdle we have to get over," says Mr Foy. But for intrepid visitors that come when the roads open, the huge geological changes have created "a new playground" to explore, he promises. "We have a new phenomenon in Whalers Bay with the "Hope Springs" he says, using his name for an area of bubbles now coming up from the sea floor, apparently caused by gasses being released from the seabed. He is hoping it might even become a draw for tourists once road access is restored. Currently the only way in is by military convoy on a damaged inland road and on a handful of often booked-out flights. "It's getting road access that's the priority" he says, "and letting people know that it's safe to come here and they've got places to stay." "It's too early to tell" when things might return to normal, the MPI's Ben Dalton says. "There's so much that's got to be done." But the whales and dolphins that drew so many tourists before the quake have not gone anywhere, Mr Foy points out. "Kaikoura is still one of the most magical spots in the world. It hasn't disappeared."

Muellner P.,Epi interactive | Muellner P.,Massey University | Pleydell E.,Massey University | Pirie R.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research | And 4 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2013

Molecular-based surveillance of campylobacteriosis in New Zealand contributed to the implementation of interventions that led to a 50% reduction in notified and hospitalised cases of the country's most important zoonosis. From a pre-intervention high of 384 per 100,000 population in 2006, incidence dropped by 50% in 2008; a reduction that has been sustained since. This article illustrates many aspects of the successful use of molecular-based surveillance, including the distinction between control-focused and strategyfocused surveillance and advances in source attribution. We discuss how microbial genetic data can enhance the understanding of epidemiological explanatory and response variables and thereby enrich the epidemiological analysis. Sequence data can be fitted to evolutionary and epidemiological models to gain new insights into pathogen evolution, the nature of associations between strains of pathogens and host species, and aspects of between-host transmission. With the advent of newer sequencing technologies and the availability of rapid, high-coverage genome sequence data, such techniques may be extended and refined within the emerging discipline of genomic epidemiology. The aim of this article is to summarise the experience gained in New Zealand with molecular- based surveillance of campylobacteriosis and to discuss how this experience could be used to further advance the use of molecular tools in surveillance.

Duggan I.C.,University of Waikato | Pullan S.G.,Ministry for Primary Industries
Biological Invasions | Year: 2016

While numerous examples exist of freshwater species from aquaculture facilities establishing non-indigenous populations following intentional release, and unintentional escape, clear links between invasions of non-target ‘hitchhiker’ species and this vector are to date are far less convincing. We examined zooplankton from nine New Zealand fish farms, including those with traditional outdoor pond systems, modern Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), and of zooplankton cultured as food for fish, to determine the prevalence of non-indigenous species among these facilities. Several non-indigenous species were found during our surveys, from all three sources, indicating that freshwater aquaculture provides invasion risks for non-native zooplankton in a variety of ways. Significantly, the North American calanoid copepod Skistodiaptomus pallidus was recorded at five farms with pond operations, greatly strengthening the link between the establishment of this species in New Zealand lakes with the release of grass carp for aquatic weed control. Traditional pond systems were commonly found to contain large populations of non-indigenous species, with risk seemingly greatest where fish are released from these operations. RAS operations contained relatively low numbers of individuals overall, suggesting a movement to this form of aquaculture from pond systems will greatly reduce the invasion risk from the freshwater aquaculture industry. We recommend a tightening of regulations regarding fish release from aquaculture ponds, following the determination of best practice methods to reduce the potential movement of hitchhiking taxa. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Cressey P.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR | Saunders D.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR | Goodman J.,Ministry for Primary Industries
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2013

Cyanogenic glycosides occur in a wide range of plant species. The potential toxicity of cyanogenic glycosides arises from enzymatic degradation to produce hydrogen cyanide, which may result in acute cyanide poisoning and has also been implicated in the aetiology of several chronic diseases. One hundred retail foods were sampled and analysed for the presence of total hydrocyanic acid using an acid hydrolysis-isonicotinic/barbituric acid colourimetric method. Food samples included cassava, bamboo shoots, almonds and almond products, pome fruit products, flaxseed/linseed, stone fruit products, lima beans, and various seeds and miscellaneous products, including taro leaves, passion fruit, spinach and canned stuffed vine leaves. The concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid (the hydrocyanic acid equivalents of all cyanogenic compounds) found were consistent with or lower than concentrations reported in the scientific literature. Linseed/flaxseed contained the highest concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid of any of the analysed foods (91-178 mg kg-1). Linseed-containing breads were found to contain total hydrocyanic acid at concentrations expected from their linseed content, indicating little impact of processing on the total hydrocyanic acid content. Simulation modelling was used to assess the risk due to the total hydrocyanic acid in fruit juice and linseed-containing bread. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Pande A.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Acosta H.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Brangenberg N.A.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Keeling S.E.,Ministry for Primary Industries
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Using Ostreid herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) as a case study, this paper considers a survey design methodology for an aquatic animal pathogen that incorporates the concept of biologically independent epidemiological units. Hydrodynamically-modelled epidemiological units are used to divide marine areas into sensible sampling units for detection surveys of waterborne diseases. In the aquatic environment it is difficult to manage disease at the animal level, hence management practices are often aimed at a group of animals sharing a similar risk. Using epidemiological units is a way to define these groups, based on a similar level of probability of exposure based on the modelled potential spread of a viral particle via coastal currents, that can help inform management decisions. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Mace P.M.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Sullivan K.J.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Cryer M.,Ministry for Primary Industries
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2014

New Zealand implemented a comprehensive management system using individual transferable quotas in 1986 that has been instrumental in guiding the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of fisheries science, fisheries management, and the fishing industry ever since. However, at the time of the initial design, a number of issues were not adequately considered. These relate mainly to the dynamic nature of fish stocks, multispecies considerations, and environmental and other externalities. Subsequent efforts to address these issues have been challenging and many are not yet fully resolved. The outcomes for fisheries science, stock status, multispecies management, ecosystem effects, and fishing industry accountability have been mixed, although mostly positive. Fisheries science, fisheries management, and the fishing industry have all become much more professionalized and their activities have been increasingly streamlined. New initiatives to further improve the system continue to be researched and implemented. Overall, we believe that the positives considerably outweigh the negatives. The initial design has proved to be a system that can be built upon. Comparing New Zealand with most of the rest of the world, key positive outcomes for preventing overfishing are the current lack of significant overcapacity in most fisheries, the development of biological reference points and a harvest strategy standard, the favourable stock status for the majority of stocks with known status, and the development and implementation of comprehensive risk assessments and management plans to protect seabirds and marine mammals. © 2013 © International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2013.

Duncan G.E.,Ministry for Primary Industries
New Zealand Medical Journal | Year: 2014

I undertake a cost benefit analysis of the food safety regulation of production of poultry for the New Zealand domestic market and the reduction in foodborne illness following this. I take a societal perspective to demonstrate that regulation brings both benefits and costs. I derive a cost of illness (COI) estimate of foodborne campylobacteriosis from three previous studies. I apply a cost benefit analysis (CBA) to this estimate, combined with the cost data supplied by industry and the regulator. The benefit:cost ratio was remarkable, showing a good return from the combined efforts of industry and the regulator in reduction of campylobacteriosis; in dollar terms a gain of at least $57.4 million annually. In summary the study demonstrates the high value to the New Zealand economy of investment in food safety compliance at the primary industry level. © NZMA.

Cryer M.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Mace P.M.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Sullivan K.J.,Ministry for Primary Industries
Fisheries Oceanography | Year: 2016

In 1986, New Zealand introduced a radical new quota management system (QMS) based on individual transferable quotas (ITQ) for most of its key fisheries. New Zealand's QMS focuses primarily on the management of individual fish stocks through the setting of total allowable catches (TAC) and total allowable commercial catches (TACC, allocated as ITQ) and is therefore essentially a single species-focussed system. However, New Zealand's Fisheries Act 1996 is designed to 'provide for utilisation while ensuring sustainability' and the obligation to ensure sustainability has led to the introduction of many measures to deal with: incidental captures of protected species (primarily marine mammals and seabirds); benthic effects caused by bottom trawl and dredge gear; changes to marine biodiversity; and the protection of habitats of particular significance for fisheries management. Together with directed fish stock management, these measures could be considered to constitute a first-level ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Many authors have advocated incremental or evolutionary approaches to the implementation of ecosystem approaches, and this paper summarizes developments in New Zealand since 1986 that build on the success of the QMS in this way. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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