26 May 2011

Australian pork industry fears easing of restrictions

2:02 pm on 26 May 2011

The Australian Pork Industry believes it's the real target of an international push to export raw pig meat to New Zealand.

The Australian Government says no raw meat will enter Australia without passing through strict quarantine, but the local industry and several senators are concerned, the ABC reports.

Australian Pork chief executive Andrew Spencer says New Zealand's decision will be used as a precedent.

At present, pork imported into Australia must be frozen and boneless to avoid risk of disease entering that country.

Mr Spencer says Australia is a much larger market than New Zealand and pork exporters can now reference the standards and say if its good enough for New Zealand, then it should be good enough for Australia.

Several Australian senators are also calling for an urgent review of Australia's quarantine laws to ensure the New Zealand's decision does not put pressure on Australia to water down its quarantine arrangements.