Wednesday, December 13, 2006
New Zealand unanimously passes bird flu bill
New Zealand’s Parliament today passed the Epidemic Preparedness bill by a unanimous vote. The bill gives the Government sweeping powers to suspend almost all laws to control a bird flu outbreak, however the conditions for triggering the bill have been tightened.
The bill will ensure that, should there be a human outbreak of avian influenza, or of a similar disease capable of becoming an epidemic, the Government has powers available to it to ensure a proper response.
The bill provides for the Summoning Parliament or recalling the House during an epidemic, delaying a sitting of the House or summoning Parliament, ban public gatherings, requisition buildings, vehicles and medicines and allowing police to detain people for medical tests.
The bill also allows the quarantine of people suspected of having bird flu or other pandemic diseases.
The complete bill can be found here >>> Bill in PDF format<<<