Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in New-Zealand

March and April 2005

Dr Derek Belton, International Coordination Manager, Chief Veterinary Officer, Animal Biosecurity, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), New Zealand, has informed the OIE that foot and mouth disease (FMD) response simulation exercises will take place in his country in March and April 2005.

Biosecurity New Zealand will lead a two-stage multi-layer exercise named Taurus, intended to test and improve national capability and readiness to deal with an outbreak of exotic disease. This exercise will be based on a simulated foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the North Island. The two stages of the exercise will be based on the Exotic Disease Response Centre (EDRC) and the National Response Centre (NRC) as follows:

Exotic Disease Response Centre (EDRC) 14th to 18th March 2005

This exercise will focus on activities in the field centred in Manawatu-Wanganui region and the role of the field operations response team (FORT) in Palmerston North and the EDRC in Wallaceville.

The general objectives are:

  • To define the level of technical resource requirements for dealing with and outbreak;
  • to translate the FMD technical policies into operational procedures at the regional level; and
  • to test communication within the exotic disease response structure.

This exercise will provide the basic epidemic scenario for the following NCC exercise.

National Response Centre (NRC) 12th and 13 April 2005

This exercise will test the functions of the NRC and its interface with the Domestic and External Security Coordination system (DESC) which would be activated during an outbreak of any nationally significant exotic disease. It will take place in the National Emergency Management Centre in the basement of the Beehive (NZ parliament building).

The objectives of the exercise are:

  • to provide familiarisation with FMD technical response policies and understand their implications;
  • to practice Biosecurity New Zealand’s NRC and Whole of Government Response Procedures;
  • to address key issues of national livestock standstill and policy decisions regarding disposal of infected carcasses plus contiguous cull or vaccination;
  • to exercise the interagency communications group;
  • to engage key industry stakeholders; and
  • to clarify the responsibilities of other government departments and external agencies that have a role in FMD response.

Animal Health Information Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
[email protected]