Expected application of the PMP...

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NickWallingford

BOP Club
144
202
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
I have recently been hearing two somewhat related arguments concerning actions of the AFB PMP Management Agency. In the leadup to the review in a couple of years time, I would like to better understand what is being described.

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"The Mgmt Agency is using powers from two places: the AFB NPMP Order, but also using powers directly from the Biosecurity Act."

“The Mgmt Agency can take away a beekeeper’s potential livelihood by destroying equipment based on spore-testing only. It should require evidence of a clinical infection first.”

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Let’s try an example, as I try to understand the principles and how they could be/have been applied. Remember - I’m just making this up, but basing it on what could well be real. (“It’s the truth, whether it happened or not. - Ken Kesey”). When it says "The Mgmt Agency did such and such" - I'm just using my best understanding of what might happen...

A beekeeper has, say, 40 hives. Through whatever circumstances, 36 of them are found with AFB, some at quite advanced stages. There might be any number of factors involved: eyesight, not looking, not identifying - those reasons aren’t what I’m talking about in this ramble.

Just prior to the inspections that found the AFB, all of the honey had been taken off the hives. No AFB was identified by the beekeeper. The honey boxes were not marked in any way, so cannot be returned to the hive they came from. 80 boxes in the shed, 4 hives still alive. Sampling and testing revealed a high AFB spore load in the stored honey boxes.

The Mgmt Agency ensures that the 36 AFB hives are appropriately destroyed. But further, they order the destruction of the stored honey boxes. The beekeeper ordered to destroy both frames and boxes (and not given permission to paraffin wax dip the boxes to reuse them).

So from my understanding of it, the argument would be (in part) that the destruction of the hives was done using powers of the PMP. But the destruction of the honey boxes was carried out with a power from the Biosecurity Act itself. And that somehow this is inherently wrong…

Would you describe this example as a gross misuse of the powers available to the NPMP? What other factors do you consider the Mgmt Agency should take into account in making such decisions?

And can someone explain that issue re: powers of the PMP/powers of the Biosecurity Act for me?
 
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frazzledfozzle

Founder Member
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Nelson/Tasman District
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I have no clue on the ins and outs of the different laws and acts surrounding management of AFB. All I can say is in my opinion ordering the destruction of the honey boxes and frames was the right call no matter which law was used.
im not entirely convinced that all beekeepers paraffin dip their AFB boxes at a high enough temperature or for long enough.
 
3,365
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Hawkes Bay
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I have wondered about this issue as well. Certainly under the old apiarys act and order could be given to destroy every box ,frame, Hive et cetera that a person owned and I have seen this enforced.
As I understood it under the AFB PMP if someone had 99 rotten hives and one clean one you couldn't order the destruction of the final hive (although you could recommend it).
Ordering the destruction of gear not directly associated with clinically infected hives has only occurred as far as I know within the last few years.
Personally I don't have a problem with this when somebody has a massive AFB problem but it does become a bit of a grey area when somebody has a light or even moderate infection rate.
My personal experience is that as long as you're doing your job properly and finding any AFB before it spreads then the agency is not interested in hassling you. I feel sorry for those that are targeted but they have brought it on themselves and probably given a lot of us a dose at the same time.
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
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Tasman
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destroying equipment based on spore-testing only. It should require evidence of a clinical infection first.”
are there any levels set for detection of spores?
As science get more capable, instead of ie 1000 spores being required for a positive result, it can be detected at levels that may not result in clinical AFB.
What might have been assumed 10-20 years ago may be very different now.
 
193
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Bay of Plenty
Experience
Commercial
There is also has there been any organization to the stored boxes and frames in the shed, are suspected infected gear stored separately, what paper trails/systems, which under your deca you are supposed to have as to the health or not health of your gear. If you had a 99% infection rate as the one described and no systems to back up your responsibility under your deca then yes burn the lot.
The AP2s are not inspecting gear, they inspecting brood, only if there's a huge problem, then they may go digging deeper.
 
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maungaturoto
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are there any levels set for detection of spores?
As science get more capable, instead of ie 1000 spores being required for a positive result, it can be detected at levels that may not result in clinical AFB.
What might have been assumed 10-20 years ago may be very different now.
yes.
pretty sure mark goodwin has written about this many times. its been well tested and they know what range of spore count will cause an infection and what range will probably cause an infection in the next few years and what will probably not cause an infection.
the levels are in one of the books.
the science has been available for a long time now.
 
29
43
Canterbury
Experience
Hobbyist
“The Mgmt Agency can take away a beekeeper’s potential livelihood by destroying equipment based on spore-testing only. It should require evidence of a clinical infection first.”
From what I have heard, the decision to destroy honey boxes is not a decision taken lightly and is not based on test results, but on % of afb found in the field by inspectors and on evidence of a lack of traceability in the beekeeping operation. The test result was used to show the affected beekeeper that the contamination in the gear is there even when the affected beekeeper is in denial. These boxes are to be destroyed as they have been associated with afb infected colonies.

What livelihood you would be protecting if you allow the affected beekeeper to infect more hives using his contaminated gear?????? None

What about someone taking action to protect the livelihood of all beekeepers who share the same area with the affected beekeeper? ( the agency)

Aren’t my levies and the afbpmp intended partly to protect my beehives from repeated re infections from non complying beekeepers around me? I believe they are

Looking at the big picture, The beekeeper who allowed afb to spread out of control within his/her operation (by ignoring the AFB pmp) is the one who puts his/her own livelihood at risk.

In afb outbreaks we cannot expect all affected parties to end up happy. Someone needs to lose. I rather have the beekeeper who ignore the afb pmp to pay for the mess he/she created instead of the hundred beekeepers around him who try their best to eliminate Afb.
 
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Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
“The Mgmt Agency can take away a beekeeper’s potential livelihood by destroying equipment based on spore-testing only. It should require evidence of a clinical infection first.”

The issue with doing everything based on clinical infection is that by the time a hive shows infection, it has likely spread.

are there any levels set for detection of spores?
As science get more capable, instead of ie 1000 spores being required for a positive result, it can be detected at levels that may not result in clinical AFB.
What might have been assumed 10-20 years ago may be very different now.

Yes, we can detect high levels of spores without clinical signs (pre-clinical infections) but also low levels of spores that will likely never cause a clinical infection (sub-clinical).
yes.
pretty sure mark goodwin has written about this many times. its been well tested and they know what range of spore count will cause an infection and what range will probably cause an infection in the next few years and what will probably not cause an infection.
the levels are in one of the books.
the science has been available for a long time now.

The issue is that these methods have been done by a wide variety of culture methods - methods that have kept changing and with probably varying degrees of culture success. Also I do not know if they have been done for the different ERIC and ERIC II genotypes (different infection picture).
 


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