Fears over new pork importing rules

by 5m Editor
14 November 2007, at 11:18am

NEW ZEALAND - Pork farmers say a deadly disease could arrive in three years if new health standards for imported pig meat and products go ahead.

The draft standards by MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAF BNZ) are based on the "negligible" risk of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus entering New Zealand within pig meat.

New Zealand is one of the few countries that does not have the virus, which can ruin herds and cost nations hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production each year.

Producers fear that relaxed standards could lead to non-commercial pig owners feeding pigs waste containing uncooked packaged meat. Raw pig meat is banned at this stage from entering the country.

New Zealand Pork Industry Board chairman Chris Trengrove said the Government was being pressured to make changes from European countries which saw the standards as a trade barrier.

He said New Zealand was entitled to have stronger standards under World Trade Organisation rules to protect it from disease.

"Scientific modelling from Massey University shows that within three years we would have PRRS in the country if the (draft) import health standards are released. (MAF BNZ) is arguing against that, but this is what the modelling is saying."

The pork board commissioned the university to predict the risk factor.


Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
- For more information on PRRS click here.

5m Editor