RABBIT MAY SUBSTITUTE FOR MUTTON FLABS IN SAMOA

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APIA, Samoa (December 10, 1997 - PACNEWS)---A row has risen between quarantine authorities in Samoa and a farmer who wants to import rabbits from New Zealand to raise as a substitute for unhealthy mutton flabs from that country.

Resident Englishman Reg Flint complained that for two years he has been trying to import the fat-free New Zealand rabbit.

Flint said "Somebody's diet might improve over here if they are allowed in, but who cares?" He said in 1996 the then Minister of Livestock was in favor of rabbits being imported, "but his staff blocked that effort."

He said this year he was given an import permit from the new minister, but three months later it was cancelled "with feeble excuses to explain it."

Secretary of the Quarantine Advisory Committee Isaia Samau said, in a statement, that Flint's proposal had been discussed extensively but the committee still needed more information about Samoans’ preference for rabbit meat compared to beef, pork and poultry.

For decades, rabbit meat was imported from New Zealand and sold in Samoa in pre-independence days, but faded from shops around the late 1960s.

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