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Weak foot and mouth campaign won't protect borders

Rt Hon Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

06 March 2001

Weak foot and mouth campaign won't protect borders

Jim Sutton's belated response to the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the form of a publicity campaign to New Zealanders is totally inadequate, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"What is the use of educating farmers and New Zealanders when the risk is far off shore?

"Last week the Government said no additional biosecurity measures were needed to stem the threat to New Zealand.

"The Minister's interpretation that this weak campaign will stop the threat at New Zealand borders is wildly inadequate. The risk is not on New Zealand farms or in urban New Zealand the risk is at the border.

"He shouldn't be wasting their money on a media campaign - the public already know it's a risk, they've seen all the pictures on TV - the money should be spent on the border.

"The Minister must immediately fund the introduction of footbaths and tighter screening of arrivals from infected areas at borders and require the provision of updated information on foot and mouth on all inbound aircraft.

"I have been appalled at the slack approach taken by Jim Sutton to the risk.

"Now two weeks after the outbreak our Government suddenly wakes up to the fact that the issue is serious for New Zealand. Unfortunately this sad attempt doesn't offer the tighter controls needed to protect our country," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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