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Farmers call for Immediate Action at Border

28 February 2001

PR 30/2001

Federated Farmers call for Immediate Action at Border

Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesman Tom Lambie is calling for immediate action at New Zealand borders in light of the devastating affects of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in the United Kingdom.

"The Government urgently needs to put in place a massive publicity campaign to heighten awareness of the risks New Zealand faces, and to provide advice to in-bound travellers on measures they can take to reduce that risk," warned Mr Lambie.

"This is not just a farming issue. If we had an outbreak of FMD tourism, the transport industry and the processing industries would all be affected by movement controls."

"There would be huge repercussions on New Zealand economy if FMD occurred in New Zealand."

Federated Farmers was urging any recently returned travellers or people planning to travel to the UK to contact the MAF Quarantine Free-Phone line (0800 222 009) if they had any concerns about inadvertently bringing the disease into New Zealand.

"Provided this disease has the right conditions, it can survive in clothing and on shoes for up to 12 weeks or longer. I cannot stress how important it is for people entering New Zealand to declare any farm visits they may have had in any other country."

"New Zealand can't afford not to cover every possible avenue in keeping this disease out of New Zealand," concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS

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