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Pork producers vote to increase biosecurity

29 July 2004

Pork producers vote to increase biosecurity measures

The development of a Pest Management Strategy that will assist in containing the spread of the pig disease Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) was one of the major issues discussed by delegates attending the Annual Conference of the New Zealand Pork Industry Board held in Auckland this week.

First discovered late last year, PMWS has been found on a number of farms in the in the northern half of the North Island. Although there are no food safety or human health issues associated with the disease, it has severe implications for the pork industry from a production point of view, and delegates voted unanimously to give their full support to the continued development of a Pest Management Strategy.

The Board's Chairman, Chris Trengrove, said details of the Strategy continue to be developed and there will be further information and consultation with the industry before a referendum is held later in the year.

Integral to the strategy will be the revised Biosecurity (Food Waste for Pigs) Regulations 2004 which are also due to come into effect later this year.

"As an industry we endorse those Regulations which will underpin the Pest Management Strategy and increase biosecurity for New Zealand.

"Like all those in the primary sector, New Zealand pork producers realise the need for heightened biosecurity and their unanimous support for the Pest Management Strategy gives us confidence that this will be endorsed at the time of the referendum," Chris Trengrove said.

Delegates also acknowledged the success of the Board's market development campaign, which has increased consumption to a record 19 kg per capita, utilising Mike King to present easy, fast and nutritious ways of cooking pork.

"Whilst we believe there is room for further increases in consumption, many farmers are challenged by their real farm gate returns resulting from the high New Zealand dollar," he said.

Delegates attending the conference also supported the Board continuing with the industry's export development programme, which focuses on the Asian market.

Mr Trengrove said the establishment of a niche export market would assist in the stability of the industry, which is currently subject to international commodity trends.

ENDS

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