What was thought to be part of an exotic goat or deer found in imported palm kernel has turned out to be from much closer to home - a New Zealand sheep.
A Bay of Plenty farmer last week reported the find in an imported shipment of the feed of palm kernel expeller but DNA tests show it was a from woolly ruminant, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.
"The farm where the limb was found has sheep, home kill is undertaken, the maggots found on the limb were a species of blowfly found in New Zealand, and most of the PKE supplied goes through a 4mm filter," its compliance and response deputy director-general Andrew Coleman said.
The ministry initially thought the 18cm part of the leg belonged to a local animal, but a zoologist suggested that it could have been from an exotic deer or goat, before the DNA test confirmed its origin.
Mr Coleman said changes to import standards last month means facilities that have not been approved cannot be export palm kernel to New Zealand.
Malaysia and Indonesia are the main sources for PKE.
Labour Primary Industries spokesman Damien O'Connor said he had little confidence in the ministry.
"If it takes MPI six weeks to identify a NZ sheep, no wonder it is blind to the risk of contamination in PKE imports.
"This unbelievably long and protracted process raises as many questions as it provides interim answers," he said.
source: newshub archive