After the Supreme Court of New Zealand dismissed the New Zealand Pork Industry Board's legal challenge to stop the import of pig meat from other counties, the board says it will work with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to allay any fears of biosecurity risks associated with imported raw pig meat. The Supreme Court in late December dismissed the board's appeal to stop the MPI allowing raw pig meat into New Zealand through its import health standards for pork.
The board, which spent nearly NZD1.8 million (US$1.5 million) in legal fees, opposed these standards because they allowed countries with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) to export raw pig meat into New Zealand.
Board chairman Ian Carter said he was very disappointed with the decision, but added the board was coming to terms with the decision and its implications. The board plans to meet with MPI to devise strategies that would minimize any biosecurity risks associated with imported raw pig meat, according to reports. Those discussions would continue into 2014.
In order to minimize the biosecurity risks associated with imported raw pork products, Carter urged consumers to buy pork products made in New Zealand. He said New Zealand pig farmers had to maintain high standards of biosecurity on their farms and properly dispose of waste pig meat.
Carter said it was still unclear what the court's decision meant for the long-term viability of the industry's commercial sector.