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BSE-free status fantastic news says Meat & Wool

BSE-free status fantastic news says Meat & Wool New Zealand

The recent confirmation of New Zealand as a BSE free country has been hailed as “fantastic news” by the Deputy Chairman of Meat & Wool New Zealand Mike Petersen.

Mr Petersen said the recognition of New Zealand as BSE free country announced by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris yesterday confirmed our premier biosecurity status. Other countries also recognised as BSE free were: Australia, Argentina and Uruguay.

Under the WTO the OIE is the internationally recognised standard-setting organisation for animal health.

“This is a great boon for the beef industry and is a real accolade for farmers, industry, government officials, and the Government itself - all of whom have worked hard to achieve this great outcome.”

“Everyone has been working very hard on this issue for a number of years and it is really rewarding to get this recognition from such a prestigious organisation,” he said.

New Zealand had previously been assessed as having “top status” for BSE freedom by the European Union this latest acknowledgement from the OIE was “as good as an Olympic medal,” Mr Petersen said.

“It is very important that we have achieved the highest status possible for BSE freedom. Overseas markets are very sensitive to food safety issues and it’s vital for us to stay at the front of the pack maintaining our image as a country that produces the safest meat in the world.”

Mr Petersen said only Iceland and Singapore, had previously achieved official BSE freedom and neither country had a beef industry of any significant size.

New Zealand is the world’s seventh largest beef exporter and exports 83 per cent of the beef it produces returning $2.3billion annually in export receipts.

Ends

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