New Zealand FMD Update

A second letter has been received, via media, stating that the original letter sent last week claiming release of "a vial of FMD virus on an off-shore island" was a hoax and that no FMD virus was released in New Zealand. A police assessment has confirmed that the letter is highly likely to have come from the same source as the first one.

Intensive surveillance on the island and extensive investigations over the past week have shown no evidence of clinical signs of FMD or factual substance to the original letter.

As a result of this additional information and the surveillance results thus far, New Zealand now intends to remove the legal restrictions covering the movement of animals and other goods off Waiheke Island by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May17,2005.

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