Foot and mouth fears for imported festival mud

A kiwifruit protection advocacy group is concerned a large quantity of mud being brought into the country from South Korea could be contaminated with foot and mouth disease.

The mud is being imported for display at the Rotorua Mudtopia Festival as part of a reciprocal arrangement with a South Korean festival.

The inaugural festival is to be held in December and features music, a mud run and mud related health and wellness activities.

Kiwifruit Claim chairman John Cameron is questioning the Ministry for Primary Industries’ decision to approve the import saying the risk is just to great.

He said South Korea has recently had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and the ministry must take extreme caution to ensure that the mud is not contaminated.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said the mud would be filtered, heated, crushed into a fine powder and irradiated before entering New Zealand, removing biosecurity risks.