The Palaszczuk Government is urging all Queenslanders to be aware of the threat of African swine fever (ASF) and how they can reduce the risk of it being introduced.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said everyone had a role to play in protecting our pig industry from this biosecurity threat and now was the time to pitch in to protect our pork.
“African swine fever is an insidious disease which, in its most severe form, can affect and kill up to 100 per cent of pigs,” Mr Furner said
“It’s estimated that by the end of 2019 up to a quarter of the world’s pigs may be lost as a result of African swine fever and there is no doubt this disease poses a significant threat to Queensland’s pig industry.
“Although people cannot be infected, no treatment or vaccine is available and, if African swine fever becomes established in Queensland it will be difficult to eradicate, significantly impacting pig health and production.
“I therefore welcome the Commonwealth Government lately putting a detector dog at Darwin – as the ports and airports are the front line of defence against this disease.
“The greatest risk of introduction is from people illegally bringing pork or pork products into Australia from overseas and these being fed to or eaten by pigs.
“Recent detections of ASF virus fragments in meat confiscated at Australian airports and mail centres by the federal Department of Agriculture highlight the very real risk of possible entry through passenger movements and mail.
“I urge everyone to make sure they know what can and can’t be brought into Australia and comply with these requirements.”
Mr Furner said since September 2018, the Palaszczuk Government had been developing prevention and preparedness strategies for African swine fever with the Commonwealth.
“And today I got a briefing at a forum here in Brisbane as part of that coordinated effort to protect our pig industry,” Mr Furner said.
“The forum gives pig industry representatives, veterinarians, transporters, feed manufacturers and Queensland and Australian Government representatives the chance to identify key actions to ensure Queensland is well-positioned to prevent and respond to this threat.
“I urge anyone who keeps pigs to make sure they’re registered and their contact and registration details are up-to-date by visiting qld.gov.au/BiosecurityRegistration.
“I want to assure Queenslanders, our pork is safe to eat, and by putting pork on your fork, we are supporting jobs.
“So make sure the next shopping trip has Queensland pork on the shopping list.
“And don’t forget if you do cook with Queensland pork, take a picture, upload it to social media and #eatqld!”
Find out more at qld.gov.au/AfricanSwineFever or contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner