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Government's Lack Of Understanding Disturbs

Government's Lack Of Understanding Disturbs

The Government has finally recognised the threat that bio-terrorism poses to New Zealand - after ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff questioned the direction of the country's bio-security focus.

"This realisation is a direct result of my question put to the Government over bio-security, where the focus was on incursion of pests - such as the painted apple moth - rather than foot-and-mouth disease or similarly devastating viruses.

"The deliberate release of a virus, such as foot-and-mouth or plum pox virus, would have a significant impact on New Zealand's already fragile economy. Labour's failure to understand this must be of concern to the country - especially rural New Zealand," Mr Eckhoff said.

"New Zealand's economic success depends on our land-based industries being able to trade with the rest of the world.

"Should terrorists target New Zealand with such methods, the population must know that all steps are being taken to combat this very real threat. All we have been told, however, is that the Government now recognises the threat - not what they intend to do about it.

"It is scary that the Government did nothing until prompted. It reflects the Labour Party's complete disregard for rural communities, and a lack of understanding of the vital importance of primary industries to our national economy," Mr Eckhoff said.

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