Author: McDonald, D. A.1
Published in National Security Journal, 24 August 2020
Download full PDF version – Reframing New Zealand’s Biosecurity Conversation Post-Covid-19: An Argument for Integrating Interspecies Concerns (881 KB)
This article began in March 2020, during New Zealand’s Alert Level 4 lockdown, and the writing process has spanned more than five months of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. As at August 2020, COVID-19 continues to rage across the globe, while New Zealanders enjoy a relative freedom of movement. Due to a collective commitment to biosecurity practices such as isolation, quarantine and movement restrictions, along with the government’s strong public health messaging, the ‘team of five million’ had, at the time of writing, eliminated COVID-19 from our communities. This article discusses New Zealand’s biosecurity messaging in light of COVID-19, and argues that biosecurity discussions that link animal management practices with risks to human health are essential for pandemic preparedness. As a global leader in biosecurity, New Zealand is well placed to make the conceptual shift towards treating public health and biosecurity as a shared concern.
Keywords: Biosecurity, COVID-19, Human Health, National Security, New Zealand.
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic was not a ‘black swan’ event.1 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been warning us about the rise of a novel influenza of pandemic proportions for years.2 Despite the work of WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) promoting awareness of risks to public health arising from human/animal relationships, the world was still collectively unprepared for COVID-19.3
1 Deidre McDonald is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, School of People, Environment and Planning, at Massey University, Manawatū Campus. Contact by email: email@example.com.