Illegal pork importer avoids jail time

  • 24/11/2015

A man who lied about importing uncooked pork sausages from Thailand which ran the risk of bringing foot-and-mouth disease into the country has avoided a jail sentence.

Auckland man Chaiwat Kangsathien, 40, was sentenced to 10 months' home detention this month for importing the sausages.

Foot-and-mouth is present in Thailand and the virus could live for more than 50 days in the sausages and it had the potential to cost the economy up to $17 billion over four years if there was an outbreak of the disease.

"Illegally imported meat is a very real risk because it can end up in food waste that is not treated appropriately," said Ministry for Primary Industries' Veronica Herrera.

She said the pork was destined to be sold at a retail outlet in Auckland.

Importer and retailer NP Trading Ltd was fined $75,000 for its breaches of the Biosecurity Act in the Auckland District Court.

Kangsathien had initially told biosecurity officials the 20 carton-consignment was fish sausages but half of it contained 1200 pork sausages.