11 May 2013

More quarantine inspectors sought

2:39 pm on 11 May 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries has launched a recruitment campaign to find 30 new quaratine inspectors and is also ramping up the detector dog programme.

Thirty new inspectors will be on board by mid-August - 18 to work in Auckland, six in Christchurch, four in Wellington and two in Queenstown.

Four new beagle puppies are also beginning their training as detector dogs at airports and that together with the initiatives show biosecurity is a top priority for the Government.

Last year, frontline biosecurity staff said the Government's mergers and restructuring of the ministry had left them 30 staff short of being able to guard the border properly.

They said not only had that shortage led to Queensland fruit fly getting into the country but many experienced staff had left, putting MPI short of personnel with expertise in biosecurity.