May 11, 2005

Foot in Mouth (so far)

Our little island made it to the frontpages of all the New Zealand newspapers and on all electronic media today, and probably on to all the international news wires too.
A letter was sent to the Prime Minister's office claiming that Foot & Mouth Disease viruses have been released on Waiheke Island and the writer demands a change in tax policy and a sum of money. Officials say they have to treat it as serious, but at this stage, as they have not found any infected animals, it is treated as a hoax. So far it looks like a disgruntled anti-tax campaigner making a last stance for his party.
We can still freely move on and off the island but things will get trickier if a quarantine cordon is established around the island and no-one or anything can go on or off. But hopefully it won't come to that. The quarantine restrictions are currently in place for farm animals only.
There was a media scrum this morning at the main passenger wharf at Matiatia, with an especially inept TV One reporter on breakfast television (what do they teach these greenhorns at broadcasting school?). The Radio New Zealand Morning Report man, far better looking than his TV colleague and far better at his day job too, interviewed our friend Barratt.
Waiheke only has a few thousand sheep and cows, we specialise more in agricultural drugs like wine.

UPDATE: Suspicions have been raised the letter bore a Manawatu postmark and may be linked to a capping stunt at Massey University. Those vet students need to be artificially inseminated to stop them shagging sheep.

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