News 795 views last update:Oct 5, 2006

NZ 'opening doors to FMD'

A risk analysis by the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) suggesting to lower import standards, raises the risk of FMD reaching the islands.

This warning comes from professor Roger Morris of Massey University. He said removing the requirement for all pigmeat to be treated against PRRS was a major shift in MAF's position on biosecurity.
"What they are saying is we will let the virus in but there won't be enough of it reaching pigs to cause an outbreak.
Opening doors
"This is really opening the door for a number of diseases to get in and certainly opens the door wider for foot and mouth," he warned.
MAF has been consulting on a risk analysis which suggests "high value" cuts of pork could be imported without treatment against PRRS.
If these cuts would be carrying PRRS, endemic in the US and many other major pork producing nations, pigs fed scraps of the meat could contract the virus.
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