An Australian Senate committee wants to overturn a decision by the nation’s quarantine chief to allow the import of pork from 11 countries, including the United States.

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport committee found the disease risks posed by pork imports were too great. The committee charged that out of fear of facing a World Trade Organization challenge the nation’s quarantine laws are giving more importance to international trade than to ensuring that Australia remained free of dangerous animal diseases.

An import risk analysis compiled by quarantine regulator Biosecurity Australia was cleared earlier, which will allow producers in 11 countries to import their goods into Australia. The move ignores warnings from the pork industry that allowing imports would almost guarantee the introduction of hog diseases, including post-weaning multi-systemic wastic syndrome.

Financial Review