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Exotic disease response

14 June 2001 Media Statement

Exotic disease response

New Zealand's exotic disease response system was implemented today after the report of a potential disease outbreak in King Country.

Acting Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs said the Government took the report extremely seriously and measures to combat any potential disease spread had been implemented immediately.

Examination by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry-contracted vets at both the Universal Beef Packers' Te Kuiti meatworks and the Taihape farm where the affected animal came from showed no evidence of infectious disease. In the absence of any infection, it is likely the healing wounds seen on a single animal were the result of trauma or the animal eating a caustic substance.

Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton, speaking from China, said he was "tremendously relieved" that the animal had no disease and that the exotic disease response system had worked well.

"I express my thanks to those responsible members of the media who heard about the response but held off till confirmation, so as not to needlessly panic people."


ENDS

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