10 Aug 2009

Pork Industry Board welcomes MAF review

3:44 pm on 10 August 2009

The Pork Industry Board is relieved there will be an independent review of a Ministry of Agriculture decision on pig meat imports.

MAF has agreed to review provisional import health standards that would allow imports of consumer-ready cuts of uncooked pork from Canada, the European Union, Mexico and the United States.

The pork industry asked for the review because it fears the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) could be introduced in uncooked meat from these countries.

It does not accept MAF's view that conditions proposed in the standard would be enough to keep PRRS out of New Zealand.

Board chair Chris Trengrove says his organisation's argument is based on very strong science. He says New Zealand Pork has been concerned that many aspects of the risks associated with the importation of untreated pig meat haven't been adequately considered.

Mr Trengrove says the organisation is looking forward to these matters being considered by an independent panel.

MAF expects to issue draft terms of reference and seek nominations for a review panel before the end of this month.