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Foot And Mouth Scare Shows How Much NZ Has To Lose

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said yesterday's market reactions to a Foot and Mouth scare in New Zealand showed just how devastating the disease would be if it ever was found here.

The New Zealand dollar fell half a cent yesterday after a brief scare that Foot and Mouth had been found in Te Kuiti. Twenty six cows were slaughtered and MAF officials were on high alert before tests confirmed there was in fact no trace of the contagious disease.

"What every New Zealander needs to be acutely aware of is the absolutely devastating impact this disease would have on this country," said Ian Ewen-Street.

"We have seen the Kiwi dollar fall half a cent at the slightest hint of a scare and we need to consider what this disease would mean for the New Zealand economy if it ever was confirmed here."

Mr Ewen-Street said yesterday's scare reinforced again the need for absolute vigilance at our borders and also stressed the huge economic advantage of our clean, green image.

"People need to recognise the massive advantages of our green reputation but they should also be aware of how fragile this is and how easily it could be lost forever.

"We need to continue to keep investing in our border controls and to be more and more selective of what we import and why. This Government's commitment to global free trade, for example, is perhaps the biggest threat to our borders, and therefore the maintaining of our unique green reputation," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Any move to accept genetically engineered crops in this country will also seriously compromise our image in the eyes of the rest of the world.

"These are all crucial issue to the future of this country that the public of New Zealand should keep at the front of their minds," said Mr Ewen-Street.


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