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Wellington, New Zealand

Hathaway S.C.,Ministry of Primary Industries
OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique | Year: 2013

The Codex Alimentarius (Codex) international food standards help to ensure food safety and promote fair practices in the international food trade. Implementing these standards using a risk management framework (RMF) approach to decisionmaking is an increasingly common aspect of the food control programmes of national governments. The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) provides guidance at both the system and food commodity levels. In the case of zoonoses, similarities in the risk analysis methodologies used to underpin standard setting by the CAC and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are highly enabling of integrated food control systems. The CAC and the OIE are increasingly working together to develop their respective standards for foodborne zoonoses and other hazards so that they are non-duplicative, cohesive and utilise the whole food chain. There is a clear need for effective integration of food safety and animal health monitoring and surveillance information to better control foodborne zoonoses. This is increasingly supported by Codex and OIE standards working together in a variety of ways and realisation of benefits is highly dependent on coordination and sharing of information between Competent Authorities and other food safety stakeholders at the national level. Source


Lobato A.,MetOcean Solutions Ltd. | Beamslay B.,MetOcean Solutions Ltd. | Johnson D.,MetOcean Solutions Ltd. | Gardiner S.,MetOcean Solutions Ltd. | Kluza D.,Ministry of Primary Industries
Australian Coasts and Ports 2015 Conference | Year: 2015

The potential biohazard arising from invasive marine species is of considerable concern to nations around the world. To address this issue in New Zealand, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) was developed for use by scientists at the Ministry for Primary Industries, allowing them to simulate the dispersal of propagules of various invasive species within New Zealand coastal areas. The GUI uses a Lagrangian particle tracking model that considers a range of biological properties within the environment, simulating the release and behaviour of planktonic organisms within the marine environment. The properties considered are temperature and salinity tolerances, as well as the dial vertical migration. The model also allows for a succession of planktonic life stages, during the simulation. Historical simulations can be made within a 10-year hindcast of the nation-wide hydrodynamics. This hindcast is resolved on a finite-element grid and extends seamlessly from all the major harbours out to beyond the continental shelf. The GUI allows nonmodellers to rapidly run complex multi-year simulations and the results can be immediately visualized as particle dispersion animations or as density probability heat maps. The environmental forcing data can also be viewed in the time domain. There is an export facility so the results can be shared with other GIS software or Google Earth. The tool allows ready examination of possible propagule trajectories from nearshore and estuarine environments that are tidally dominated to the coastal and shelf regions that are more influenced by the non-tidal and wind-driven flows. The tool can be used for the rapid assessment of the connectivity for both passive and active particles, as well as longer term studies on the dispersal of biological and inert particles. The GUI and hindcast flow fields are freely available for use in academic research. Source


Xavier R.N.,Agresearch Ltd. | Xavier R.N.,University of Waikato | Morgan H.W.,University of Waikato | McDonald I.R.,University of Waikato | Withers H.,Ministry of Primary Industries
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

The ability to maintain a dual lifestyle of colonizing the ruminant gut and surviving in nonhost environments once shed is key to the success of Escherichia coli O157:H7 as a zoonotic pathogen. Both physical and biological conditions encountered by the bacteria are likely to change during the transition between host and nonhost environments. In this study, carbon starvation at suboptimal temperatures in nonhost environments was simulated by starving a New Zealand bovine E. coli O157:H7 isolate in phosphate-buffered saline at 4 and 15°C for 84 days. Recovery of starved cells on media with different nutrient availabilities was monitored under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. We found that the New Zealand bovine E. coli O157:H7 isolate was able to maintain membrane integrity and viability over 84 days and that the level of recovery depended on the nutrient level of the recovery medium as well as the starvation temperature. In addition, a significant difference in carbon utilization was observed between starved and nonstarved cells. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. Source


Luo J.,Agresearch Ltd. | Hoogendoorn C.,Agresearch Ltd. | van der Weerden T.,Agresearch Ltd. | Saggar S.,Landcare Research | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2013

Sheep and beef cattle grazed hill land represents a potentially large source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions globally. However, N2O emissions and associated emission factors for the dominant nitrogen (N) source of excreta N (EF3) are thought to be highly variable due to spatial differences in soil conditions across hill land units (HLUs; defined according to slope, aspect and soil type). Variability is also determined by animal grazing and resting behaviour affecting excretal-N deposition. Knowledge of spatially different EF3 values could be used to improve estimates of N2O emissions from grazed hill land. This paper presents N2O emission factors for sheep urine (SU) and dung (SD) and for beef cattle dung (BD) determined in four regions in New Zealand (NZ) (Waikato, Southern Hawkes Bay, Manawatu and Otago). Urine (spring 2009) or urine and dung (autumn 2011) was applied to low (<12°) and medium (12-25°) slopes in each region. N2O emissions were measured for 3-4 months for urine and for a whole year for dung using a static chamber technique. There were large variations in EF3 between seasons, between regions and between slope classes within a region and season. Over all regions, there was a marginally significant (P=0.08) difference in EF3 for spring 2009-applied SU on low and medium slopes, with EF3 values averaging 0.46% and 0.08%, respectively. In the autumn 2011 trial, there was no significant slope effect, with EF3 averaging 0.12% and 0.11% on low and medium slopes, respectively. By combining the datasets, EF3 for low slopes (0.24 with 95% confidence intervals of between 0.14 and 0.40) was significantly greater (P<0.05) than for medium slopes (0.07% with 95% confidence intervals of between 0.02 and 0.14). EF3 values for BD and SD were not significantly different. The contribution of sheep excreta to NZ national N2O emissions, based on a spatial framework model that disaggregates excreta deposition according to slope class and using the current inventory EF3 values of 1% for urine and 0.25% for dung and assuming that all NZ sheep grazed on hill land, was 6.08Gg N2O in 2012 in NZ. This is considerably higher than the 1.02Gg N2O estimated using the measured EF3 values, 0.24% for urine and 0.06% for dung, from this study. These results suggest that the current IPCC GHG inventory methodology is likely to overestimate N2O emissions from animal grazed hill land. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Fowler S.V.,Landcare Research | Peterson P.,Landcare Research | Barrett D.P.,Massey University | Forgie S.,Landcare Research | And 4 more authors.
Biological Control | Year: 2015

Heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis), has underperformed as a biocontrol agent when compared with the damage it does to native heather in Europe. Mean heather beetle body size, measured by elytron area, was 10% smaller in NZ populations compared with beetles from northern UK where the NZ beetles originated. Previous research in Europe showed that small beetles suffer higher winter mortality. Field-collected heather beetles in NZ show a positive relationship between body size and the proportion of pre-overwintering food reserves (lipids) they contained. Beetles that died in an overwintering experiment had lower proportional lipid reserves, and a smaller mean body size, than surviving beetles. Smaller body size in NZ is probably mostly due to a severe founder effect: line-rearing of beetles in NZ to eliminate a microsporidian disease, and poor establishment success, resulted in NZ beetles being derived from one or two field-collected females from one UK site. Several measures of genetic variability in NZ beetles compared with beetles from the UK indicated severe genetic bottlenecking. In particular, reductions in heterozygosity in NZ versus UK beetles were a close match to theoretical heterozygosity after a severe bottleneck. Heather beetle populations from southern UK were genetically distinct from those sampled from northern UK, and previous collecting showed higher microsporidian infestations in beetles from southern UK compared with northern beetles. Mean elytron area was 2.2% smaller in the southern UK population compared with the northern population. Genetic rescue of NZ heather beetles could use beetles from the northern UK that have slightly larger body size and lower levels of microsporidian infection. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

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