Federated Farmers Comments for the Marlborough District Council on the Review of Marlborough’s Regional Pest Management Strategy 2012 Discussion Document

Plant and animal pest control is important to farmers and primary producers. Pest and weed management is an important component in protecting our land based primary production. Unmanaged infestations of pest animals can spread disease, consume valuable and precious plants and pasture and increase soil erosion, resulting in lower farm production and loss of biodiversity. Weeds have the potential to adversely affect the production potential of farms, pose a health risk to stock and undermine farm conservation efforts.

As custodians of the land, farmers have a vested interest in protecting our natural resources from unwanted pests and diseases. Farmers take the issue seriously and spend significant amounts of time and money (on average $8 per hectare per year according to MPI) on weed and animal pest management, whether or not they are required to under a Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) or Plan.

Over the years, the focus of the Biosecurity Act 1993 and RPMSs has shifted from farm production to include landscape ecology and biodiversity protection. This is acknowledged in the foreword to the document, in which Councillor Peter Jerram notes that while the traditional focus has been on traditional primary production activities, managing pests now has a much broader focus including high value terrestrial ecosystems and marine environments (page 2). Pest management is acknowledged to deliver important shared benefits to the whole community, including health, indigenous biodiversity, economic production and cultural values.

For more, please see the full comments paper