Australia Closes Border to U.S. Pork
June 3, 2005
June 3, 2005 -- An Australian judge has banned the import of pork products from the United States, Canada and several other countries, ruling that the imports potentially put the Aussie swine herd at risk for post weaning multi-systemic wasting disease.
The Australian government?s risk analysis had concluded that there was very little chance the disease could be introduced through the importation of pork products, but the judge differed sharply, siding with the nation?s pork producers who argued that any perceivable risk was too much.
The U.S. pork industry, which backed the Australian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, is now alleging protectionism by Australian Pork Limited.
?In no way does U.S. pork pose any concern for the Australian hog industry,? said Kara Flynn, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) spokesperson. ?This move that we saw last week is simply a protectionist move to keep U.S. pork out of Australia.?
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Australia was the seventh largest export customer for American pork over the first quarter this year. NPPC estimates a full market opening could mean $50 million worth of U.S. sales in Australia.