International Vet Award a First for New Zealand

4 July 2002

A Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) veterinarian has received international recognition for his contributions to veterinary public health and animal disease control.

Dr Stuart MacDiarmid, MAF's National Manager Risk Analysis, is the first New Zealander to receive the prestigious World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) Médaille du Mérite (medal of merit).

The medal was presented to Dr MacDiarmid in May at the General Session of the OIE in Paris by OIE president, Dr Romano Marabelli.

In a New Zealand ceremony, the MAF Director General, Murray Sherwin will celebrate the achievements of Dr MacDiarmid at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at 5pm, July 4.

The award pays tribute to Dr MacDiarmid's years of work in developing risk analysis as a basis for insuring safe trade in animals and animal products and for developing standards to reduce the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Mr Sherwin said that Dr MacDiarmid's award is a testament to the high calibre of staff who work at the Ministry.

"MAF and its technical professionals, play a key role in maintaining New Zealand's biosecurity and trading interests, by protecting the health status of New Zealand's animal populations."

Derek Belton, Director Animal Biosecurity said the award demonstrates the strength and quality of New Zealand scientists and their commitment to international excellence.

"This is a significant achievement for Stuart and also for MAF, it's something for the whole country to be proud of, " he said.

Dr MacDiarmid, who is also an Adjunct Professor in Veterinary Biosecurity at Massey University, has a long and distinguished career in veterinary science.

For more information contact:
Philippa White 04 498 9948 or 025 223 1875

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