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Calm needed over suspected biosecurity threat hoax


Calm needed over suspected biosecurity threat hoax

Meat & Wool New Zealand urged calm over the suspected hoax of a deliberate release of foot and mouth virus on the small offshore island of Waiheke.

Chairman Jeff Grant said the Ministry Agriculture and Forestry and Police had made it clear they believe the incident is a hoax. “While we don’t believe the virus has been released, the Government has been prudent in activating its disease management response systems. The Government has acted promptly and responsibly in dealing with this issue, including advising key industry participants in New Zealand and overseas.

“We have briefed our overseas posts about this issue and the Government’s response. We will continue to follow this closely, work with Government as necessary and take any appropriate steps to ensure our markets receive accurate and timely information.

”Meat & Wool New Zealand is confident that New Zealand operates robust biosecurity processes,” he said.

Mr Grant said farmers should take usual steps to remain vigilant in monitoring the health of their livestock. “It could be another couple of weeks before the result of this investigation is known. In situations like this it’s easy for people to jump to conclusions but it’s important to allow the investigation to take its course,” he said.

Meat & Wool New Zealand is the industry-good organisation with roles in trade advocacy and access issues, market development, and support of New Zealand meat and wool in international markets.

Ends


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