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Probable Hoax A Shock To Farmers

Probable Hoax A Shock To Farmers

Farmers throughout New Zealand will be shocked at the malicious threat to release foot and mouth disease on Waiheke Island, said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"Our advice to farmers is not to panic. This is not a confirmed outbreak. This claimed threat is seen as a likely hoax but should nevertheless be taken very seriously by the government. We are pleased that it has activated its disease management response system," Mr Lambie said.

"We are also very pleased that the government has taken the decision to announce this probable hoax as soon as possible, rather than let the rumour mill begin. Uninformed speculation can do more damage than letting the few facts speak for themselves. We expect the government to keep farmers informed through this unfortunate incident.

"Federated Farmers will be offering its support to the government to handle this threat," Mr Lambie said.

"Incidents like this bring into stark reality the importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy. It must be protected from these sorts of lunatic acts.

"Our hearts go out to our members on Waiheke Island who will undoubtedly be very distressed at this claimed threat. They will be offered our support in coming days," he said.


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