New Zealand fears for PRRS contamination
New Zealand risks having its pig herds devastated by a disease, an animal
health expert has said in a reaction to proposed changes of import
The country's regualtory authority, Biosecurity New Zealand, proposes to
change the import health standards of pork, which would allow chilled meat to be
imported; it currently has to be treated or frozen.
to Massey University animal health professor Roger Morris there is a big risk
that a highly contagious disease like Porcine
Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome
(PRRS) could enter New
However, Biosecurity New Zealand says measures have been put
in place to reduce the likelihood of PRRS becoming established in this country,
such as only allowing high-value cuts of imported pig meat, such as pork chops,
to reduce the risk of scraps becoming food waste.
Biosecurity also says it has also stepped up public education
campaigns to ensure people are aware of a ban on feeding pig meat to
PRRS is the number one enemy for the pork industry
internationally, with New Zealand and Australia being two of very few countries
in the world that are free of this devastating disease.
shows that feeding food waste to pigs can infect them and new strains of the
virus continue to be identified.
Pork Industry Board chairman, Chris Trengrove, also gave a warning. He said
there were major flaws in Biosecurity New Zealand's analysis of technical
He said the proposal to relax current controls on imported meat
to allow untreated pork into New Zealand from countries where PRRS was endemic,
was potentially disastrous and there were important principles at stake which
concerned other industries as well as the pig industry.
releasing risk material into New Zealand, with reliance on ineffective
post-border controls will make effective control of the disease risk to New
Zealand pigs an impossible task."
â€¢ New Zealand Pork Industry Board
â€¢ Massey University
â€¢ Biosecurity New Zealand
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