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MPI pig-headed about biosecurity

18 March 2013

MPI pig-headed about biosecurity

The Ministry of Primary Industries needs to reconsider its decision on risky raw pig meat imports in light of the Auditor General's recent report showing the lack of preparedness for dealing with biosecurity incursions, the Green Party said today.

Today’s Court of Appeal judgment found in favour of the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to allow imports of raw pork from countries with the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

“The decision to import potentially infected raw pork may be within the scope of the law, but that doesn’t mean the policy decision is right,” Green Party biosecurity spokesperson Steffan Browning said.

“MPI may have won the case through the courts but the risk of infecting New Zealand with PRRS still persists.

“This is another example of what the Auditor General said in her report that ‘MPI is under-prepared for potential incursions from some high-risk organisms’ and that ‘serious weaknesses remain’.

“The Ministry are so locked in to defending their previous decision that they can’t see the risk they are forcing on New Zealand’s pork producers.

“This National Government continue to put international trade ahead of biosecurity time and time again.

“It is pure pig headedness on MPI and the Minister's part to continue pushing for imports of risky products, especially following the Auditor General's report and a continuing run of extremely costly biosecurity incursions.

“Government needs to be take biosecurity far more seriously if New Zealand's primary production and tourism sectors are to realise their potential,” said Mr Browning.

ENDS

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