Officials Want Better Checks on Pig Swill

by 5m Editor
8 May 2012, at 8:04am

NEW ZEALAND - Primary Industries Ministry officials want more effective enforcement of regulations banning the feeding of raw meat to pigs.

According to Radio New Zealand, officials say this is essential after winning a High Court case that clears the way for new import standards allowing untreated pork from countries that have the pig disease PRRS, (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome).

New Zealand Pork opposed the easing of import restrictions, which says it will increase the risk of PRRS entering New Zealand.

Director general Wayne McNee says the risk of that happening remains very low, but he says the industry needs to play its part by ensuring regulations against feeding raw meat to pigs are properly observed.

These regulations were introduced in 2005 require farmers to heat meat and food waste that has come into contact with meat to 100C for one hour to destroy any bacteria or virus, and suggest boiling the swill.

"It's really important that we and New Zealand Pork work together to make sure that all pig owners and pig farmers understand the risk, and that they follow the rules that in place," says Mr McNee. "We will be working closely with NZ Pork on that.

An earlier set of swill regulations dating from 1980 was allowed to lapse in 1998, as a requirement for government workers to check the preparation of food wastes going to pigs was regarded as too costly.

But a South Canterbury pig farmer and processor Linda McCallum-Jackson of Havoc Farm Pork, says that there isn't a commercial pig farmer in New Zealand who would give their pigs raw pig meat.

"But it's the backyard pig farmers - the people who keep pigs in their back yard ... and they give them table scraps," she said. "That's where (the risk) is going to come from."

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