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Raw Pig Swill Must Be Banned Now

1 April 2001

National's Biosecurity and Boarder Control spokesperson Eric Roy has called for higher biosecurity standards to be imposed including an immediate ban on the feeding of uncooked pig swill.

"Given the current foot-and-mouth risks in Europe and Asia, New Zealand must do all it can to limit the risks. Eliminating raw pig swill is an obvious way to ensure the highly contagious disease isn't triggered in our country."

The British Government has banned the feeding of food waste to pigs as it was identified as a key link in the spread of the disease. The finger has been pointed at meat smuggled into the UK, which then ended up as food scraps fed to pigs.

"Historically, foot-and-mouth outbreaks around the world have shown that the feeding of raw pig swell has been a major contributor.

"Most people are very careful with the distribution of swill, but nonetheless the practice of feeding food waste to pigs has not been directly regulated in New Zealand since 1998.

"MAF, together with the Pork Industry Board, is carrying out a risk assessment on the feeding of raw swill to pigs, with the possibility of re-imposing past regulations. While this is positive, urgent action must be taken in the interim.

"Australia has taken a very cautionary approach to foot-and-mouth, imposing all sorts of bans. It's time we too took all the possible precautions.

"I call for a ban on all raw pig swill until the risk assessment and a peer review on that process has been completed in order to give us a blue print for the future," Eric Roy said.


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