Welcome to Wildflower Alpacas
Wildflower Alpacas
Sue & Steve Ridout
Mobile: +61 414 719 566 - Ph: +61 7 4098 8451
E-Mail: s.ridout@bigpond.com

Wildflower Jubilee

LaViande, Australian Alpaca

Member of the Australian Alpaca Association

EU OMAR Review Update

On Thursday the 17th of August a delegation consisting of Greg Charteris (President AANZ, Kit Johnson (Licensed Alpaca Exporter) and Steve Ridout (Director International Alpaca Exports) met with senior officials of the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in Wellington to discuss the revoking of the OMAR for alpaca exports into the European Union (EU).

At the meeting we requested MPI to provide an update as to the current situation and what MPI’s plan was to ensure the review of the OMAR is kept at the forefront of the EU Commission. Action items that we felt would assist MPI/Market Access Team in its endeavours to resolve the current situation were tabled by Steve. Whilst we did discuss the previous issues we have had with MPI it was more pertinent to focus on a way forward whilst stating our discord with the ministry.

At this stage MPI are waiting on the next review by the EU Commission. The process of ongoing dialogue continues through their Market Access staff and the NZ Embassy/EU Councillor in Brussels to ensure the OMAR for Alpaca is placed high on their agenda to resolve. MPI provided a more in depth insight into the process of their bilateral communication process and its restrictions.

We felt that MPI had not been assisting the NZ Alpaca Industry enough and had been restricting our ability to expedite the OMAR review. We sought to make MPI fully aware of our position and what we as an industry expected from MPI moving forward. We want a collaborative approach and requested MPI to assist in a number of areas.

Our requests were for

  • Ongoing dialogue with the EU Commission through their Embassy and Councillor to ensure the OMAR review is at the forefront of the talks each time the EU Commission meets
  • MPI were requested to again put forward additional options to the EU Commission to consider
    1. apply a PCR test for BT which looks for the DNA of the virus 10 days prior to export placed as an “or” after BT import clause – this is the least work and an easy implementation in our view
    2. suggest removal of the clause relating to imported animals aligning it with the Sheep and Cattle OMAR – re write of the OMAR and lengthy
    3. split the wording in the Animal Health Attestation around other diseases removing BT as a separate clause – quite a considerable amount of Biosecurity work around this request
    4. apply for a dispensation based on the grounds NZ does not have the vectors (Mosquito and Midge) to transmit the disease – dispensations aren’t easily granted as it’s a multi country OMAR
  • MPI were asked for assistance with speaking to the relevant Chief Veterinary Officers (CVO's) to ensure they are fully aware of the current problem prior to our planned lobbying
  • MPI to provide overseas contacts (Country Embassy Contacts and Chief Veterinary Officers) for us and EU Country Alpaca Associations to focus on and drive the lobbying process
  • Regular feedback to the OMAR Review Working Group

We have asked MPI to respond to the actions items within a week. The information provided will then be evaluated before taking the next steps to begin communication with the CVO’s and respective Embassies. We have already made contact with many of the overseas Alpaca Industry Associations that are effected advising them of the current situation, providing them with the relevant information to ensure their members are aware of the issues facing us all and the working groups plans moving forward.

If we feel that MPI have failed to provide us with the required information or cannot assist us further then the Minister and opposition Minister will again be contacted. The OMAR Review Working Group had tried unsuccessfully to arrange a meeting with Nathan Guy (Minister of Agriculture) prior to this meeting but has been fully briefed of the issue.

Regards

OMAR Review Working Group