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Kemp must keep native animals safe from sheep quarantine risk.

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KELVIN THOMSON Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Sustainability and the Environment KEMP MUST KEEP NATIVE ANIMALS SAFE FROM SHEEP QUARANTINE RISK ***Embargoed 12.01am Monday, 20 October 2003*** Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage David Kemp must reveal what role he has had in the assessment of quarantine risks associated with the return of the sheep aboard the MV Cormo Express. Dr Kemp must also issue an iron-clad guarantee their return will pose no risk to our unique native animals. The MV Cormo Express has spent the past two months drifting in one of the riskiest areas in the world for animal diseases. The sheep aboard the vessel may have been exposed to exotic diseases including Sheep Pox, Screw Worm, Rift Valley Fever, Bluetongue and Foot and Mouth. Many diseases present in the Middle East can infect a range of warm-blooded animals. The absence of appropriate quarantine controls would place Australian fauna in danger. Agriculture Minister Warren Truss has released his completed import risk analysis to the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), the United States and New Zealand, but refuses to disclose its contents to livestock producers, state governments and the Australian public. Dr Kemp must assure all Australians that Mr Truss’ quarantine plan protects our native animals from diseases that could be transmitted by sheep aboard the ill-fated MV Cormo Express. Labor has established a Senate inquiry to force Mr Truss to reveal the details of his risk assessment and proposed quarantine management plan. For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594 882 Gavan O’Neill Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0417 118146