Thursday, August 11, 2022

Meat ban for travellers as NZ ramps up biosecurity

Neal Wallace
The ban will not affect commercial products, which face strict import standards.
Travellers from Indonesia are prohibited from bringing meat into NZ as the region faces a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. File photo

The Government is banning travellers from Indonesia bringing in any form of meat, as it strengthens our borders from an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the South East Asian country.

From today travellers will not be allowed to bring personal consignments of any meat products from Indonesia to New Zealand, even meat in a form that was previously allowed.

“While Indonesia continues to step up its FMD response, we are taking an extra precaution and stopping travellers from bringing in personal consignments of any meat product,” Biosecurity NZ deputy director-general Stuart Anderson said.

Previously those travelling from Indonesia could bring in declared cooked or treated meat, but uncooked meat products were prohibited.

The ban will not affect commercial products, which face strict import standards.

Australia and NZ have both heightened biosecurity since FMD was discovered in 22 provinces across Indonesia, with more than 230,000 cases reported.

Australia has stepped up its preparedness against biosecurity incursions, by making electronic ear tags mandatory for its 70.6 million sheep flock.

Read: Call to be vigilant after FMD fragments detected in Aus

The Countryman website reports the move is in response to heightened biosecurity threats and the importance of traceability should there be an outbreak.

Victoria is currently the only state where electronic identification is compulsory, with other states still using paper traceability systems.

A roll out timetable has not been decided.

Anderson says the NZ meat ban is in addition to existing steps taken by Biosecurity NZ to tighten our borders.

These include more checks at airports, disinfectant mats for people returning from Indonesia to clean their footwear, an awareness campaign for passengers and an audit of the palm kernel supply chain in Indonesia.

An FMD Readiness Taskforce has been formed to refresh preparedness and NZ is supplying Indonesia with personal protective equipment, disinfectant, backpack sprayers and technical expertise to help control the outbreak.

“Although the risk of the recent outbreak in Indonesia to New Zealand remains low, we remain on high alert,” he said. 

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