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8 December 1998
An import health standard for the importation of cattle semen from the Island of Jersey in the United Kingdom is being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry after a risk assessment showed there was no technically justified reason to refuse its access.
The draft import health standard will be available for stakeholder comment this month (December).
MAF received a request to permit the semen importation from the State of Jersey and not the United Kingdom as a whole.
MAF staff carried out a risk assessment to examine the likelihood of a BSE introduction into New Zealand from the Island of Jersey. It took into account the current BSE situation there, the distribution of infection within the diseased cattle, the transmission of BSE, and new British information on the incidence of BSE amongst progeny of bulls with the disease compared to the progeny of bulls not affected by the disease.
The information clearly showed that there was no enhanced risk of BSE developing amongst offspring where sires developed BSE. The risk analysis concluded that semen was not a vehicle for the transmission of BSE and that Jersey semen could be imported without the risk of its introduction.
The risk assessment was reviewed by the Government's independent BSE Expert Science Panel, which fully supported MAF's assessment.
The December issue of MAF Regulatory Authority's Biosecurity publication will open the import health standard for public comment.