21 Dec 2013

Court challenge to pork imports lost

12:26 pm on 21 December 2013

The Pork Industry Board representing pig farmers has lost its bid to challenge the Government on allowing overseas pork into the country New Zealand.

The board took the Ministry for Primary Industries all the way to the Supreme Court, claiming that various agencies had acted unlawfully.

The board argued the director general of the ministry ignored a review panel which found the ministry had not fully considered all the available science.

It also argued that the ministry had not properly consulted on its final import health standards and New Zealand pigs could be endangered if they were accidently fed raw pork scraps.

But the Supreme Court has found the ministry dealt with the science in an open and transparent way and addressed the concerns of a review panel.

In its majority decision, four of the five Judges found the ministry had consulted appropriately.

The Pork Industry Board said it will analyse the ruling.

Chair Ian Carter said the board has had some talks with the ministry since the ruling and expects more discussion next week.

He said the board still believes there is risk in allowing the overseas pork into New Zealand.