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Parrot to have cracker Kiwi experience.

22 November 2005

Parrot to have cracker Kiwi experience.

A Grey African parrot will be allowed to enjoy its kiwi experience and remain on board its vessel for the duration of its stay, Biosecurity New Zealand announced today.

The Grey African parrot is bound for New Zealand on a vessel due to arrive in Auckland, but its arrival, like all other vessels with animals on board, needed to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, Biosecurity New Zealand Animal Imports team manager Gillian Mylrea says.

“It’s an interesting tale, but there are serious implications. We needed to be satisfied that the bird did not pose an undue risk of introducing bird or other diseases to New Zealand. We are satisfied that any risk that might exist can be adequately managed. The people involved have co-operated to the fullest extent possible,” says Dr Mylrea.

“New Zealand has no import health standards for parrots, even if it’s in transit. That hasn’t stopped parrots before, but they have all stayed on board at the port of first arrival. This situation is a bit different - we understand the vessel intends to visit elsewhere in New Zealand while it is here – that was the issue we needed to tidy up.

“There’s nothing unusual about it, other than that the risk environment, and particularly awareness global awareness of avian influenza has changed. This is the first parrot we have had arrive on a vessel since the Americas Cup. We have to assess it and determine appropriate conditions so New Zealand would not be exposed to any risks.

The options considered included placing the parrot in quarantine in Auckland Airport, leaving the parrot on board at its first port of call, or leaving the bird on board with certain conditions. This is what will happen. The conditions include:

1. The parrot is to remain in its cage, indoors on the vessel while it is in New Zealand. The parrot will not be eligible for biosecurity clearance into New Zealand and will not cross the border.

2. The vessel is to remain at Princess Wharf until the bird has been tested negative for a variety of bird diseases. Until results are available, the bird will be inspected on a daily basis by a MAF Biosecurity Inspector. If the parrot tests positive it must leave New Zealand immediately.

3. All costs of testing and inspection will be at the parrot owner’s expense.

ENDS

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