New Zealand biosecurity control under attack

31-07-2006 | |

Controlling biosecurity laws has become a political issue in New Zealand since six tonnes of raw Korean meat have been imported into Auckland.

The decision not to prosecute those responsible for the imports makes a mockery of New Zealand bio-security laws, Green Party biosecurity spokesperson Metiria Turei claimed.

She said, “Serious pork diseases, such as PRRS are also endemic in Korea. New Zealanders can only wonder why no prosecutions have resulted after such a lucky escape from a serious risk of infection.”

“Korea has spasmodically suffered from FMD, which could devastate New Zealand’s agricultural exports. Why did the Ministry of Agriculture not intercept this shipment before it even crossed our borders?”

“At a time when 40 percent of the pork consumed here is imported from overseas, the consumer has the right to know if the pork they’re eating came from Korea, or from a farm down the road.”

“For now though, the public deserves to be told why these pork importers have escaped prosecution. We need to know if the decision not to prosecute has anything to do with the Ministry of Agriculture’s own procedural failings.

After all, this wasn’t a stray bug or rodent sneaking into the country. If the ministry cannot tell whether a six tonne shipment of pork landing on its doorstep is in breach of the rules, then this country’s bio-security is in very deep trouble.”

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