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Border Control Nonchalance Is Extremely Dangerous

Border Control Nonchalance Is Extremely Dangerous

Monday 5th Mar 2001 Owen Jennings Media Release -- Other

The Coalition Government’s casual approach to the danger of foot and mouth disease crossing our borders is frightening, Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.

“By comparison, Australia is on red alert, led by their Prime Minister and supported by a concerned Government and Opposition.

“Our Prime Minister and Minister Hodgson are nonchalant to a degree that scares New Zealand farmers.

“Despite the Minister’s laid back approach, there is a greatly increased risk at our borders following the outbreak of foot and mouth in the UK.

“Farmers are well aware that foot and mouth has always been a potential risk. Most visitors who have been in regions where foot and mouth is endemic are conscious of their obligations when entering New Zealand.

“Only a publicity campaign, more vigorous vigilance by bio-security staff, and leadership from the Coalition Government – including the Prime Minister – will raise awareness of the additional need for care by people coming from the UK.

“It is time for the Coalition Government to demonstrate its commitment to the business and farming sectors. They must lead a campaign of better awareness and understanding among travellers and importers.

“The high level of visitors from the UK compared with those from other foot and mouth ridden countries, and the previous lack of need for vigilance when coming from the UK are good reasons for the Coalition to lift its performance.

“The Coalition Government should look across the Tasman, where Australian farmers are sleeping a little easier knowing their government has given it their best shot,” Owen Jennings said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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