Call for halt on imports of pork from countries affected by African Swine Fever

A producer of New Zealand pork products is calling on the imports of pork from countries affected by African Swine Fever to be stopped.

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a disease which affects pigs and has spread to China.  

While ASF is not known to affect humans, it can be spread between pigs through contact, product or feed. 

New Zealand is still importing pork from countries affected by the virus, while Australia has banned importing pork from countries with ASF.

The Ministry for Primary Industries told Newshub that ASF probably won't reach here, despite the outbreak in Asia.

Angus Black said the virus arriving on New Zealand shores could significantly affect local farmers and food producers.
Angus Black said the virus arriving on New Zealand shores could significantly affect local farmers and food producers. Photo credit: Supplied

MPI spokesperson Dr Chris Rodwell said tourists can only bring in highly processed meats.

"Although this is a really nasty disease for pigs, it's actually got to get into the country - so somebody imports high-value pork products - then they're going to eat those products generally, they're not going to feed them to pigs, " he said.

However, general manager of Wellington-based Harrington's Smallgoods, Angus Black, said imports from affected countries should be stopped to protect and support the New Zealand pork industry and smallgoods producers.

He said New Zealand was still importing pork from countries affected by the virus, while Australia had banned importing pork from countries with ASF.

"The NZ Pork Board estimates the Kiwi pork industry is worth around $750 million a year, and the virus arriving on New Zealand shores could significantly affect local farmers and food producers," he said.

"We've deliberately chosen to use only New Zealand farmed pork because we want to offer consumers the best possible quality," said Black.  

"By sourcing only Kiwi pork we are supporting local farmers. Continuing to import pork from affected countries puts our industry at risk."

He wants New Zealand to follow Australia in banning pork from affected countries.

"New Zealand is incredibly lucky to have a high-quality industry, and the farmers we work with practice care for their animals and the farming process. We want to support and grow the Kiwi industry, and while there's a risk ASF could arrive here we are putting it at unnecessary risk."  

Newshub.

 

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