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North American Influenza - 30 April 2009

NZPork Media Advisory - North American Influenza - 30 April 2009

Media Advisory
Further to my advisory of 27 April 2009, we are continuing to monitor the situation which you would be aware has significant international implications. We will assess new information as the situation evolves, and update you accordingly.

The disease is ‘North American Influenza’
It is now widely recognised that it is not correct to call the current disease ‘swine influenza’. This is a different virus to the one that causes swine flu in pigs overseas. There is no evidence to date that pigs have been infected, or could be infected, by this mutated virus. There has never been a case of swine influenza in pigs in New Zealand.

Pork is safe to eat
Credible scientists including New Zealand Food Safety Authority confirm that pig flu viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get the virus causing the current human outbreak from eating pork or pork products that are properly cooked. Refer www.nzfsa.govt.nz

Trade implications
A number of countries appear to have implemented trade bans on pigs and pigmeat. There have even been suggestions that at least two countries might stop imports of pigs and pigmeat from New Zealand. There is no justification for such restrictions and we will be requesting the relevant government agencies to remedy any such situation immediately, if it occurs.

As a precautionary measure, we are asking New Zealand pork producers to be extra vigilant about farm biosecurity and hygiene, particularly concerning any visitors. This is to ensure that if there is any risk of this virus being transmitted from humans to pigs, or any perception of a risk, it is minimised in New Zealand.


ENDS

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