Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in New Zealand

15 to 22 June 2023

Dr Tony Zohrab, Delegate to WOAH, Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington, New Zealand is informing WOAH that a simulation exercise on foot and mouth disease (FMD), Exercise Buttercup, will be conducted from 15 June through to 22 June 2023.

The aim of Exercise Buttercup is to improve preparedness for rapid and effective vaccination for FMD in New Zealand, should the decision to vaccinate be made in response to a foot and mouth disease outbreak.

The objectives of this exercise are:

  • to test the Ministry for Primary Industries’ updated processes for vaccine ordering, delivery to New Zealand, importation, and receipting.
  • to test the vaccine cold chain maintenance during shipment from the manufacturer in the United Kingdom to New Zealand’s border, and then from the border to the National Vaccine Distribution Centre.
  • for participants to practice their roles in these processes. 

This operational exercise will include both domestic and international participants. The exercise takes place over seven days and will commence with an order for ‘Dummy’ FMD vaccine on the 15th of June 2023. The vials will not contain vaccine, but an emulsion of the same consistency as vaccine. The “Dummy” vaccine will be flown to New Zealand, processed through New Zealand’s border, and be transported to the National Vaccine Distribution Centre.

No vaccine will be used during the exercise.

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department (WAHIAD), World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), [email protected].