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Government signs animal disease agreements

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016
Key increases included kiwifruit, up 27 per cent, wine up six per cent, apples up five per cent, cherries up 87 per cent and avocados up 22 per cent. © Getty Images Key increases included kiwifruit, up 27 per cent, wine up six per cent, apples up five per cent, cherries up 87 per cent and avocados up 22 per cent.

The government has agreed to work closely with six other countries if there's an outbreak of a serious animal disease.

The agreements have been signed with Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, the USA and Mexico.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says international co-operation is an important part of border protection.

The countries have agreed to support each other in the event of animal health emergencies, including the sharing of foot and mouth vaccine.

"Sharing personnel during critical times will help participating countries respond more quickly to an outbreak," Mr Guy said.

"And having arrangements in place to continue safe trade from disease-free areas during an outbreak is good news for exporters."

Mr Guy says New Zealand is well prepared to handle a foot and mouth outbreak and has its own vaccine bank.

"The arrangement will give us rapid access to additional vaccine doses, should we require them," he said.

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