Pork Import Health Standards effectively manage risk
13 April 2011
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today issued updates to four Import Heath Standards for pig meat, pig meat products and by-products from Canada, the EU, Mexico and the USA.
The Import Health Standards permit importation of consumer-ready cuts of uncooked pork from countries where the disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is present. PRRS has not been found in New Zealand.
MAF considers the risk of introducing PRRS will be effectively managed by the Import Health Standards, which restrict imports of fresh uncooked pork to cuts that have the lymph nodes removed and weigh no more than 3kg.
The decision to issue the standards comes after MAF carried out additional risk analysis work as recommended by the Independent Review Panel, which was convened after the Provisional Import Health Standards were issued in April 2009.
"Our extensive assessment, based on the best available science, shows that the risk of PRRS introduction through pork imports will be effectively managed through the application of measures outlined in these standards," MAF Deputy Director-General Standards Carol Barnao says.
"When it comes to biosecurity there is no such thing as zero risk. According to a quantitative risk model, which the Panel recommended MAF develop, the likelihood of the virus being introduced through the importation of uncooked pork would be equivalent to an average of 1 outbreak per 1,227 years," she adds. The model was developed with the assistance of New Zealand and international experts in pig health and production," Carol says.
Import health standards for the importation of risk goods into New Zealand are issued under the Biosecurity Act 1993. When issuing standards, MAF considers stakeholder comments, and has regard to the likelihood of imported goods bringing organisms into New Zealand; the nature and possible effect on people, the economy or the environment from such organisms; and our international obligations, in particular under treaties such as the World Trade Organisation Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures (the WTO SPS Agreement).
The Import Health Standards for pig meat, pig meat products and by-products can be found at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/ihs/search
Documents explaining the decision and associated rationale can be found at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/regs/imports/ihs/provisional/pig-meat-ihs-review
Helen Keyes, Acting Corporate Communications Manager
Telephone: 04-894 0161 or 029-894 0161