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NZ Pork welcomes Government focus on biosecurity

Media release: 26 May 2017

NZ Pork welcomes Government focus on biosecurity

The announcement of additional operating funding for biosecurity is a vital protection for the country’s primary industries, according to New Zealand Pork.

NZ Pork, the statutory board that works on behalf of local pig farmers, says that as one of the world’s leading high-health primary industries, the local pork production sector sees biosecurity as vitally important.

Over $18million of operating funding over four years was included in Budget 2017 to help secure the biosecurity system and protect New Zealand’s borders.

NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says the increase in biosecurity funding reinforces how important an issue it is not only to the primary industry and the economy, but also the well being of all New Zealanders.

“One of the unique things about the New Zealand pork industry, for example, is that our producers grow food purely for the local market,” says Ian Carter.

“They feel very strongly that as we are providing products that will feed our neighbours, we must do everything possible to maintain the health of our herds and biosecurity of our operations.”

“New Zealand’s high animal health status not only provides for better welfare of our animals but also minimises the need for antibiotic use unlike most of the countries exporting pork to New Zealand.”

NZ Pork dedicates a considerable portion of its operating budget every year to monitoring emerging risks and biosecurity threats from overseas and providing best-practice education for commercial pig farmers.

“This has enabled us to establish an international reputation as a high-health status industry.”

“But everyone – from the Government, to ordinary New Zealanders, to overseas visitors – has a role to play in ensuring our borders are protected from pests and diseases, which could cost the primary industry and the wider economy dearly.”

“This latest Budget injection is a strong signal of the Government’s commitment to the protection of the safe food we enjoy in New Zealand.”

Mr Carter says one area the Government could also address is Country of Origin labelling, to help local consumers make an informed choice when they are buying food for their families.

“We note that the new investment will include a review of Import Health Standards (IHS) to ensure they are up-to-date. However, the Import Health Standards don’t include any animal welfare components, which are the standards our local industry has to meet in order to gain PigCare™ accreditation and sell products commercially.”

“We believe this is an important distinction – one we’re reinforcing through our new ‘Born and Raised in New Zealand labelling – that Kiwis care about, if they have enough information to make a choice.”

For further information on PigCareTM accreditation, including information and videos on farming pigs in New Zealand, visit www.nzpork.co.nz.


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