by Steffan Browning
Last week the High Court made a decision to put a hold on the importing of potentially infected pig meat. This is such a relief for pig farmers.
The Judge ruled in favour of NZ Pork to put in place a halt on the importation of raw pig meat until the Court of Appeal hearing to determine if the new, more relaxed, Health Import Standard is legitimate.
This new import standard is a problem for pig farmers because it potentially allows meat infected with the horrible disease Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) to be brought into New Zealand.
I am hoping that the court’s decision will follow through to the appeal hearing and mean an end to the importing of potentially infected meat.
David Carter said, when I asked him in the House, that “New Zealand cannot continue to argue for freer trade access around the rest of the world if it is then going to impose unreasonable constraints on the import of products into New Zealand.” I don’t think that stopping the importation of infected meat is unreasonable and neither do the pork producers.
His response to my question made visible the Government’s position of putting the free trade agenda before any other considerations. The Greens, on the other hand, want free and fair trade when it will benefit our country but would not allow it to stop us keeping New Zealand free from new diseases.
We should support our primary industries, not expose them to the risk of costly biosecurity incursions.