Animal-To-Animal Feed Should Be Banned
Animal-To-Animal Feed Should Be Banned As BSE Scare Deepens
The Government should ban the widespread practice of feeding animal remains to farm animals in New Zealand, in the wake of the escalating BSE scandal, Green Party MP Sue Kedgley said today.
Ms Kedgley said the Government should also impose a ban on the import of British sheep meat, reimpose a ban on the importation of bovine semen from the UK and tighten our internal control systems as further precautionary measures.
As the BSE scare in the UK widens, and the British government draws up contingency plans for destroying its sheep flock if BSE or a similar disease is found in sheep, New Zealand must take precautions to minimise any risks of the disease spreading into New Zealand, she said.
"I am particularly concerned that New Zealand pigs, poultry, hens and farmed fish are routinely fed compound feeds containing the ground up remains of animals, and that cattle and sheep can legally be fed the remains of pigs and poultry," she said.
The official UK report into the spread of BSE in Britain has identified the feeding of recycled animal protein and animal waste to cattle as the reason for the spread of the epidemic, and said the practice had been a "recipe for disaster".
"In light of the suggestion that BSE may be able to cross from cattle to sheep we should not be taking any risks with the feeding of animals to each other."
Ms Kedgley said that while there is a ban on feeding animal remains (the ground up remains of animal carcasses) of cattle and sheep back to cattle and sheep, it is still legal in New Zealand to feed animal remains from pigs and poultry to cattle and sheep.
"While the British government has identified the cannibalistic practice of 'intra-species' recycling - or feeding the ground up remains of animals back to animals - as a means of spreading BSE-like diseases, the practice is still permitted in New Zealand."
Ms Kedgley said that earlier this year the scientific steering committee of the European Union warned that if BSE was brought into New Zealand in any way, it could get "recycled, amplified and propagated" by our "unstable" internal control systems.