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Foot And Mouth Information Campaign Underway

11 April 2001

Mass distribution of an information pamphlet on Foot and Mouth Disease and how to keep it out of New Zealand is underway.

The pamphlet, which is part of the Government's information campaign on Foot and Mouth, spells out the characteristics of the disease, the severe economic impact it would have on New Zealand, the security and penalty regime at the border, and the key rules that all travellers must observe on entering the country.

It will be available through a wide range of outlets, including travel agencies, airports, post offices, libraries, and through an information hotline.

Also this week, billboard-sized posters have been placed at Auckland International Airport, carrying the same key messages. These will be rolled out progressively at other international airports. A website and 0800 number will be operating from this week.

An intensive advertising campaign will begin after Easter.

An information campaign is also being directed to the rural community, on how to recognise and contain a suspected outbreak of the disease.

The information drive is backed by increased security resources at the borders including the planned introduction of $200 instant fines on the 1st of July. If people are careless when completing their declaration card or forget to declare items they will be instantly fined $200.

The Manager for the MAF campaign, Melissa Wilson, says this activity marks the start of a three-month effort to ensure that all New Zealanders are both informed themselves, and motivated to tell visiting friends and family, about how to keep the disease out of New Zealand.

"The core message is that keeping New Zealand free of Foot and Mouth is everybody's responsibility. We are doing everything we can to ensure people have clear information. But it is up to each individual to play their part and follow the clear, simple rules", Melissa Wilson says.

For further information contact:

Melissa Wilson Manager Biosecurity Awareness Campaign 09 520 0455 025 599 734

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