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Travellers responsible for preventing FMD

Eric Roy National Biosecurity Spokesperson

23 April 2001

Travellers responsible for preventing FMD

"All travelling New Zealanders should take the responsibility of keeping the foot-and-mouth disease from entering the country," National's Biosecurity spokesperson Eric Roy said today on his return from a trip to Britain.

Mr Roy has gone into voluntary quarantine for 10 days from today when he returned to New Zealand after visiting family in Scotland and farms affected by the virus over the past fortnight.

"I am staying away from my Southland farm for 10 days and avoiding contact with any animals in that time. If there's even a minimal risk that I could be carrying the virus - it can survive in the nostrils for seven days - I want to stamp that risk out.

Mr Roy and his wife Elizabeth left the gumboots they used in the UK behind and aren't taking washed clothing they wore in the UK to their farm for at least 30 days.

"Its not worth the risk of letting the disease in because it would destroy not only thousands of livelihoods but New Zealand's economy.

"The current advertising campaign warning New Zealanders of the dangers is part of what's necessary but inbound travellers must do more than simply abide the laws.

"It is up to all entering from the UK to go the extra mile to make sure we don't get foot-and-mouth. Those who've been on farms should voluntarily quarantine.

"Many kiwis are involved with farm work, have visited farms or played sports on fields in the UK. All travellers from the UK should be doing all they can to prevent the virus arriving," Mr Roy said.

Ends

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