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NZ tourists not taking on Border Control Messages

4 July 2001 PR95/2001

New Zealand tourists not taking on Border Control Messages

"It is appalling that 40 per cent of the people carrying undeclared risk material into the country are New Zealanders" Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson said today.

Mr Polson was speaking at a joint press conference with Agriculture Minister Hon Jim Sutton to mark the wind up of MAF's Foot and Mouth (FMD) awareness campaign.

"Despite MAF's campaign to raise awareness of the effect Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) would have on the New Zealand economy, New Zealanders continue to flout our biosecurity regulations " said Mr Polson.

"There will always be issues with foreign visitors entering New Zealand, but there is no excuse for New Zealanders to recklessly endanger our economy."

"FMD would have a devastating effect on the whole economy, not only agricultural exports and tourism" said Mr Polson. "Federated Farmers is delighted with Government's increased investment in biosecurity, but we can not afford to become complacent about the ongoing risks from unwanted diseases and pests."

"Federated Farmers will continue to work with MAF and Government to ensure the effectiveness of public awareness campaigns. Unless seizure rates for undeclared goods improve dramatically instant fines for biosecurity breaches must be increased to drive home the message," Mr Polson said.

" I urge all New Zealanders to be vigilant about biosecurity and to educate family and friends offshore about the dangers of bringing undeclared organic matter into New Zealand," Mr Polson concluded.

ENDS


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