Agricultural interest groups want to introduce 11 species of dung beetle to New Zealand to break down millions of kilos of excrement from sheep and cows.
Farmers, as well as dairy and environmental organisations, have applied to the Environmental Risk Management Authority.
They say the beetles would improve soil quality by processing dung at a faster rate than earth worms.
Previous attempts to introduce dung beetles prompted concerns that the beetles would reduce the amount of food available to earth worms.
However scientist Shaun Forgie of Landcare Research, who has been advising the groups, says those concerns are not valid.