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Updated at 4:10 pm on 7 May 2012
The Ministry for Primary Industries says new standards easing restrictions on pork imports are now in force, after legal attempts failed to block them.
Industry body New Zealand Pork tried to prevent imports of untreated pig meat from countries that have the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PPRS). However, the High Court has ruled that the ministry followed correct procedures for the new import rules.
New Zealand is one of the few countries still free of the disease, which can cause abortions and respiratory complaints in pigs and kill piglets.
The Primary Industries Ministry was formed after the merger of the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, (MAF) the Fisheries Ministry and the Food Safety Authority.
Director-general Wayne McNee says the temporary hold on introducing the standards has now lapsed.
However, the ministry says it is still committed to working with the industry to effectively enforce the rule that bans feeding uncooked meat to pigs - seen as the most likely pathway for PRRS to get into New Zealand pig herds.
New Zealand Pork has until the end of May to decide whether it will continue a legal challenge against the new standards.
Chair Ian Carter, of North Otago, says the High Court decision does not change its view that allowing untreated pork imports is too great a risk.
Mr Carter still believes there is too much unknown science around the issue and the difference between New Zealand Pork's science advisers and those from the ministry is still too far apart to have confidence in what is accurate.
While New Zealand Pork can appeal against the decision, its preferred option is to work with the ministry to find a mutually acceptable solution, he says.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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