Biosecurity critical as African swine fever spreads further

African swine fever (ASF) remains front of mind for Australia’s pork producers amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.

African Swine Fever has been reported in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), adding to recent detections in two of Australia’s other neighbouring countries – Indonesia and Timor Leste.

“It is critical that ASF stays out of Australia , especially at this crucial time, when Australia is already fighting a human health crisis and we need to maintain fresh food supplies,” said NSW Farmers Pork Committee chair Ean Pollard.

“This virus does not affect humans, but it causes a death rate of more than 80 per cent in infected pigs and is extremely difficult to eradicate. If ASF enters Australia, it would have significant impact on the domestic pork industry.”

“Biosecurity is essential at this time and we welcome the assurance from Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that biosecurity measures are being ramped up in the Torres Strait in response to Covid-19 and are being reassessed to ensure they manage the risk of ASF as well.”

Mr Pollard said farmers are already highly vigilant when it comes to biosecurity and many pork producers have been improving their on-farm biosecurity in response to the global spread of the African Swine Fever.

“NSW Farmers has been advocating for greater awareness around ASF and the important biosecurity measures pork producers can take.”

“Biosecurity is crucial for all Australians at this time. We are all in this together.”

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