22 Apr 2013

NZ Pork wants to take raw pork case to Supreme Court

7:20 am on 22 April 2013

The New Zealand Pork Board expects to know by June whether the Supreme Court will hear a further appeal over raw pork being allowed into the country.

The Pork Board has made an application to the Supreme Court after losing its Court of Appeal case against the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) decision to let in uncooked pork from countries with the pig disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome.

Farmers fear that decision could allow the disease to break out in New Zealand.

New Zealand Pork chairman Ian Carter expects to know in six weeks whether the case will be accepted by the country's top court.

He said the industry had spent $1.6 million on the legal battle so far, but it was convinced MPI had got it wrong and hadn't followed the correct procedure relating to Section 22A of the Biosecurity Act.

Mr Carter said it started from the two parties not agreeing on the level of risk and that had not changed.

"We enacted Section 22A which effectively means that there's an independent review panel brought in to look at the situation, the differences between the parties. And they largely had 29 recommendations that we don't believe MPI has addressed and so therefore we don't think they've followed the due process and the intent of 22A."

Mr Carter said the Pork Board had a good relationship with MPI but it was convinced it didn't understand the risk that raw pork poses.

In a 2 to 1 majority decision in March, the Court of Appeal ruled MPI had followed the correct decision making process in allowing in uncooked pork.