19 Mar 2013

Pork industry ponders latest court knockback

7:06 am on 19 March 2013

The national pork industry body is still coming to grips with its latest knockback in a long-running legal battle to block imports of uncooked pig meat.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed New Zealand Pork's challenge of a High Court ruling allowing the Ministry for Primary Industries to introduce a new import health standard.

That clears the way for imports of uncooked pork from countries that have the pig disease porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). They include the European Union, Canada, the United States and Mexico.

New Zealand Pork has spent more than $1.5 million over six years fighting the move, which it says would significantly increase the risk of the disease becoming established here.

Pork Board chairperson Ian Carter says that threat remains, but the board still has to consider whether to take a final appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ministry director-general Wayne McNee says it's pleased the Court of Appeal has backed the High Court's view that the ministry followed the right process in developing the new import standards.