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NZ Court Decision Opens Access for US Pork

03 April 2013

US - New Zealand's Court of Appeal has rejected the New Zealand pork industry's (NZPork) appeal of a decision issued by the country's High Court last May that further liberalised market access for US pork.

According to the US National Pork Producers Council (NNPC), the High Court found in favour of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries and its Import Health Standard (IHS) for pork, pork products and by-products from countries with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), including the United States.

The IHS would allow the importation of consumer-ready cuts of uncooked pork less than three kilograms.

Thanks to the work of experts nominated by NPPC to the New Zealand Independent Working Group and the New Zealand PRRS Expert Working Group, scientific evidence was used to illustrate the minimal risk of spreading the virus. In fact, based on a conservative risk assessment model, New Zealand's chances of getting PRRS from legally imported uncooked pork product are such that it would realise one case every 1,227 years. The country's draft IHS originally was issued in November 2007 but because of the New Zealand pork industry's strong political opposition, the process was stalled for several years while the expert groups convened.

NPPC is urging US trade negotiators to ask New Zealand and Australia, which also imposes unscientific restrictions on US pork because of PRRS, to remove all PRRS-related restrictions and allow full and open access for US pork and pork products as a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. NZPork has 20 working days following the decision to decide whether to appeal the case to the New Zealand Supreme Court.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) by clicking here.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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