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Foot and Mouth Border Protection Package Welcomed

12 March 2001
PR 36/2001

Foot and Mouth Border Protection Package Welcomed

Federated Farmers' President Alistair Polson has welcomed Cabinets' extra measures tightening New Zealand's border controls in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak in the United Kingdom.

"The new measures will greatly improve the detection rates. Finally, MAF will have the capacity to x-ray and search all baggage from incoming passengers. We have been calling for new x-ray machines so that all luggage can be checked and are relieved that the Government has raised the level of protection provided at the front line of border control".

"Experience shows that x-ray machines present little disruption to incoming passengers. We anticipate that the airports and tourism industry will fully cooperate to accommodate the new machines as they also realise the value of maintaining New Zealand's biosecurity status."

"While supporting the measures", said Mr Polson, "we can't afford to relax. An education campaign for inbound travellers remains a high priority particularly in the period leading up to when the new measures will actually be in place."

Mr Polson said that it was important the country realised that the $4.6 million cost of the new measures is not great when considered against the impacts a foot and mouth outbreak would have on the whole economy.

ENDS

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