New Zealand's livestock industry has always been fiercely protective of its animal health. Capitalising on its geographic isolation, strict quarantine laws ensure a unique herd health record.
As well as establishing a ban on importing cattle from Britain in 1988, regulations that prohibit the feeding of ruminant tissues to ruminants were introduced in January 2000, replacing a voluntary industry ban that had operated since 1996.
The European Commission's Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) has carried out assessments of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of 23 countries including New Zealand. The assessments were completed and published in July 2000. New Zealand was placed in the lowest risk category and with the BSE risk defined as "highly unlikely".
For the latest statement on New Zealand's animal health status please visit the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture's website.