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Growing Support for Raw Pork Import Ban

19 July 2011

NEW ZEALAND - Politicians have joined the pork industry in opposing raw meat imports.

Political parties are uniting against the Government to protect New Zealand's pork industry against a biosecurity risk, fearing relaxed pig meat import standards have the potential to bring disease into the industry.

According to 3news, the disease worrying farmers is Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), which is similar to HIV but can be transmitted through the air.

New Zealand does not currently have the disease but the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) proposes allowing raw pork to be imported from countries that do.

Pig farmers say their objection is not about protectionism as New Zealand already imports 700 tonnes of pork a week.

Former ACT leader, Rodney Hide, says New Zealand is one of only four countries not to have the disease, and allowing uncooked pig meat into the country "would seem a terrible mistake".

Green Party MP, Sue Kedgley, has also spoken out against the proposal.

She said: "Potentially allowing a devastating pig disease into New Zealand that could wipe out our pig industry is absolutely ludicrous and bizarre, frankly."

Agriculture Minister David Carter's office said he was unable to interfere with a decision by MAF officials.

3news adds that the pork industry will challenge MAF in court next month.

TheMeatSite News Desk



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