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10 May 2005
Actions related to the claimed release of Foot and Mouth Disease on Waiheke
Island continue to take place.
Although the claim, received in a letter to the Prime Minister today, is
believed to be a hoax, it is being taken seriously because of the potential
impacts on the New Zealand economy.
At 5pm today a Controlled Area notice for Waiheke Island became effective.
This outlines the restrictions in place. Details of these restrictions are
included at the end of this media advisory.
In addition, two exotic disease inspectors are now on Waiheke Island, and
will be joined tomorrow by vets as the task of livestock inspections gets under
way. MAF media liaison staff will be on the island. Contact Tina Nixon on 027
This evening efforts are under way to inform every Waiheke Island farmer with
susceptible livestock of the situation, and a public meeting to discuss the
situation is planned on the island tomorrow. Details of a time and venue will be
advised by another media advisory when these are available.
MAF wishes to reiterate that this situation is believed to be a hoax, but
must be taken seriously.
Foot and Mouth Disease is an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act
1993, and as such, anyone convicted of spreading it faces a penalty of up to
five years' imprisonment or a fine up to $100,000.
Due to the serious potential impacts on the New Zealand economy, people
should remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour. Anyone with information on the
claimed release should contact their local police station.
This is the last information that will be released by MAF this evening. There
will be a press conference at MAF, 101-103 The Terrace, at 6am on Wednesday
The information outlined in the Controlled Area notice follows for your
Section 131 – Controlled Area, Movement Controls and Procedures in Respect of
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) – Waiheke Island and Surrounding Area
The area of land of the island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand known as
Waiheke Island and all small islands and sea contained within 500 metres from
the Waiheke Island low water mark is declared a controlled area to limit any
potential spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) – an unwanted organism under
the Biosecurity Act 1993. This Notice takes effect at 17:00 from 10 May 2005
until further notice.
Under section 131(3)(a) of the Biosecurity Act 1993, movement of the following
animals and items which might potentially spread FMD is PROHIBITED into, out or
inside the Controlled Area, whether domestic or feral animals and whether live,
dead or genetic material.
Any person who wishes to obtain the permission of an inspector or authorised
person to carry out a movement that would otherwise be prohibited or to obtain
an exemption from an inspector or authorised person should call 0800 80 99 66.