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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 45

Senator SIEWERT (12:42 PM) —My understanding from what you have just said is that particularly with animal diseases—I am having a bit more trouble understanding plant diseases—I cannot see why bird flu, to use a classic example of a disease that impacts on human health, would not fall into the definition of what we are proposing, which is ‘a medical emergency’. So it is limited basically to the impact on human health and that would then incorporate an animal disease that had a potential to impact on human health. If there were an emergency that we needed to deal with there, it would be accommodated in that definition. That is why I would prefer to go with ‘a medical emergency’, which then clearly limits it to human health, and you do not bring in the economic consequences that way.