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NZ Pork Board Appeals Against Court Ruling on Imports

by 5m Editor
22 May 2012, at 7:11am

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand Pork Industry Board is appealing a High Court decision allowing new health standards for imported pig meat, saying they increase the risk of infection of local herd by Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome.

NZPork said the Ministry for Primary Industries hadn’t addressed its concerns about the risks of importing infected meat. Imported pork accounts for about 45 per cent, or about 800,000 kilograms a week, of the pig meat consumed in New Zealand.

“This is not a trade matter,“ said Ian Carter, NZPork chairman. “Pig meat imports from countries affected by PRRS have almost doubled since the rules requiring treatment of potentially infected meat were introduced in 2001.“

Mr Carter said concerns about New Zealand’s biosecurity have been growing in the wake of the devastation wrought on the kiwifruit industry by the vine-wasting disease PSA and the one-off case of Queensland fruit fly found in Auckland.

“The pig meat issue is yet a further example of loosening biosecurity controls by knowingly permitting an exotic, highly infectious organism to be released in New Zealand,“ Mr Carter said.

New Zealand first imposed restrictions on imports of uncooked pork in 2001 from countries where PRRS was present after research showed the virus could be transmitted to pigs by feeding them on infected meat.

Over the following decade, the ministry then known as MAF developed draft health standards for pork imports. The standards were independently reviewed following a request by NZPork and the new import health standards were released in April last year, allowing imports from Canada, the EU, Mexico and the US.

Further Reading

Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

Further Reading

Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.