New Zealand's pig farmers believe a move by their country's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) to relax health standards and allow consumer-ready cuts of pork weighing 3 kilos or less into the country is a major risk to their industry.
Pork producers have met with members of parliament to explain the "crippling blow" the industry faces if the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus reaches New Zealand's shores.
New Zealand is free of contagious PRRS, which attacks vital organs and causes abortion in pigs. It does not cause harm to humans.
MAF said modeling work shows that for raw pork, the removal of lymph nodes and restricting imports of fresh meat to consumer-ready cuts weighing no more than 3 kilos will effectively manage the risk of PRRS introduction.
The New Zealand Pork Industry Board believes the science behind the risk management of the disease is not yet robust enough and wants further work done before raw pork importation is allowed.
Source: The New Zealand Pork Industry Board