26 May 2011

MAF may appeal temporary pork import ban

2:02 pm on 26 May 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says it is considering whether to appeal against a temporary court ban prohibiting the importation of fresh, uncooked pork.

The High Court in Wellington on Wednesday granted the Pork Industry Board the ban until its appeal against MAF's new import health standards is heard.

The regulations, published last month, allow some imports of consumer-ready pork products from North America and the European Union.

Countries in those areas have the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome.

The syndrome causes severe immune suppression in piglets.

The Pork Industry says the rules increase the risk of the disease entering the country.

MAF says it will be vigorously defending its new health standards, and may seek to have the temporary ban overturned.

The MAF health standards would require the pork to have to have lymph nodes removed and cuts of no more than 3kg each will be permitted. It says the chances of the virus entering the country under those conditions are highly remote.