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NZ: Worried about Foot-and-Mouth Disease

New Zealand has expressed major concerns over the entry of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) into the country. It is worried that Illegal meat will bring about an outbreak of FMD.

Not prepared
New Zealand is not prepared to deal with an outbreak of FMD according to reports. An outbreak would cost about "$8 billion in the first year and $13 billion in the second. An outbreak of foot and mouth would be disastrous for our economy,"  said Labour leader David Shearer.

Meat imports
The major concern is over meat which will be coming into New Zealand.  As it stands, New Zealand currently limits trade with countries that have FMD, but Dr Rolleston, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesman and national vice-president, says illegal imports are a concern.

"If you look at what happened in the UK, I understand it came in through food which came from the airports," he added. "There are meat products coming into New Zealand, either legally or illegally, which may carry FMD, so they need to be checked for. And also there are specific countries which have foot-and-mouth which we don't want those sorts of products from, but there's always the issue of illegal imports."

The New Zealand government is currently looking into this issue.


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