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Trout Import Ban Extended

An Order prohibiting trout imports has been extended to April 7, 2001, the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, announced today.

The Customs Prohibition (Trout) Amendment Order 2000 extends the Customs Import Prohibition (Trout) Order 1998 for a further 9 months to allow time for Parliament to consider the Conservation (Protection of Trout as a Non-commercial Species) Amendment Bill.

The bill was originally a private member's bill but has been picked up by the government under the sponsorship of the Minister for the Environment. It would make it an offence to buy, sell or possess for the purpose of sale, trout or trout products.

The Order prohibits the importation of trout except for private consignments of less than 10 kg not intended for sale. Specific exceptions are also allowed with the consent of the Minister of Conservation.

The order was introduced by the previous Government in 1998 because of public concern at the impact trade in trout could have on the sustainability of the North Island trout resource. Until then, commercial imports of trout were not permitted. But a decision on an import health standard would have changed this. The order was originally for 18 months and was to have expired on July 7.

Ms Hobbs said extending the Order would allow work on the trade aspects of the Conservation (Protection of Trout as a Non-commercial Species) Amendment Bill to be completed.

"Once this work is done Parliament can complete its consideration of the Bill and ensure that the recreational trout fishery is sustained," Ms Hobbs said. "We expect this to be completed before April next year.

"There have been some concerns over the exact wording of the Bill and we have decided to take the time to get it right. The extension of the import prohibition order will give us the time to do this."

Media inquiries:
Trevor Henry
Press Secretary
Tel: 04 471 9131(wk)
04 386 2765 (hm)
025 477 994

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