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Risky raw pork imports not needed, not wanted

Risky raw pork imports not needed, not wanted

Any meat that risks undermining New Zealand’s disease free status should not be brought into the country, Labour’s Biosecurity and Primary Industries spokesperson Damien OConnor says.

The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed a challenge from the Pork Industry Board against changes to import health standards allowing raw meat from countries where porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome - a potentially fatal disease - occurs, into the country.

“The supermarkets and traders who want to import cheaper pork should meet the current biosecurity requirements, not demand the lower standards set by a faulty biosecurity risk analysis system.

“Regardless of the Appeal Court’s ruling, the Auditor-General’s recent report on the state of New Zealand’s biosecurity system identifies major flaws that need fixing before we lower any import standards.

“Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy would be wise to step in now and call a halt to these changes, the result of which could be catastrophic for pork producers.

“The industry has been forced to spend a large amount of money to protect itself from this devastating disease. Farmers must wonder whose side the National Government is fighting for.

“Yes, we need to trade, but we need to protect our PRRS-free status even more.”

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