19 Apr 2013

Pork imports battle heading for Supreme Court

3:07 pm on 19 April 2013

The long-running dispute between pig farmers and the Government over imports of uncooked pork meat is set to go to the country's highest court.

The New Zealand Pork Board filed papers on Thursday that will take its dispute with the Ministry for Primary Industries over imports of uncooked pork meat back to court if the case is accepted.

Pig farmers fear imports of uncooked pork meat will lead to an outbreak of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in New Zealand.

The disease can be lethal to piglets and reduce fertility in herds.

Animal disease experts have warned that PRRS is highly likely to break out in New Zealand if the ministry gets its way.

However, Court of Appeal judges ruled two-to-one in March that the ministry had followed the correct decision-making process and raw pork could be imported.