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NZ: MAF grants pork review

The Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Murray Sherwin, has agreed to the New Zealand Pork Industry Board's request for an independent review of the provisional Import Health Standards for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products issued by MAF Biosecuirty New Zealand (MAFBNZ) in April 2009.

The Import Health Standards were developed after several years of consultation and analysis. The standards would permit importation of consumer-ready cuts of uncooked pork from countries where the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is present. MAFBNZ considers the risk of introduction of PPRS will be effectively managed through the application of the proposed Import Health Standard. PPRS has not been found in New Zealand.

Section 22A of the Biosecurity Act 1993 has provision for an independent panel to be formed to review whether, in developing an import health standard, there has been sufficient regard to the scientific evidence about which a person consulted under s22(6) has raised a significant concern.

MAF expects to release a draft Terms of Reference and seek nominations for the independent review panel before the end of August.

The review panel is expected to report its findings and recommendations to the Director General within 90 days of commencing work, however it may request extensions if necessary.

Final decisions about the import health standards rest with the Director General after he has reviewed the panel's report and recommendations. 

Related website
• MAF New Zealand

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