MAF Containment Policy Clarified

  • Simon Upton

Biosecurity Minister Simon Upton has moved to clarify the purpose behind the containment measures MAF is deploying in RCD affected areas of the South Island. Mr Upton said he was concerned that the public might have gained the wrong idea about why road blocks and movement controls were being imposed.

"MAF is trying to stop any attempt by people to spread the virus through moving dead rabbits or other infected material. That is because MAF needs to find out whether the virus is spreading naturally of its own accord. If human agents are trying to enhance the spread of the disease they will just muddy the water on getting an answer to this vital question.

"The response options open to the Government and the Regional Council differ markedly depending on whether or not natural transmission is occurring. Getting an unequivocal answer to that question is of vital importance. Clearly, road blocks don't stop rabbits or viruses from moving around. It is ludicrous to suggest that they can. MAF's interest is in preventing human transmission so that the precise nature of the virus's
response in the environment can be assessed."