China halts imports of New Zealand meat

WELLINGTON (AP) - China has halted imports of New Zealand meat due to a certification dispute.

Hundreds of tons of frozen beef and sheep meat worth tens of millions of dollars are stuck in refrigeration units on China's docks. China is New Zealand's largest export market and its largest consumer of lamb and mutton.

Meat Industry Association Trade and Economic Manager Dan Coup said China has blocked all New Zealand beef and sheep meat that has arrived there in the past two or three weeks.

Mr Coup said exporters changed the branding on their certificates in March after New Zealand government departments merged. He said there is no health or safety issue and officials are working to resolve the issue.

He said that because the meat is frozen, it will last for months.