8 Jul 2010

MAF stores foot and mouth vaccine material

4:04 pm on 8 July 2010

MAF Biosecurity plans to continue storing vaccine material for the livestock disease foot and mouth, in case there's an outbreak of the disease here.

It has extended its contract with a French manufacturer to hold stores of the antigen in a British-based facility for a further five years.

MAF Biosecurity's team manager of animal response, Andre van Halderen, says foot and mouth is endemic in a number of other countries.

It is critical New Zealand has a vaccine bank, he says, because if there was an outbreak, there could be a run on vaccines and the resultant delay would be detrimental to its control.

There has never been an outbreak in New Zealand, but if there was, the Reserve Back has estimated it would cost the country $6 billion in its first year.