With further detections of African swine fever (ASF) in Greece and more closely in Indonesia, Queenslanders are urged to be aware of this very real biosecurity threat and what they can do to reduce the risk of it being introduced here.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said African swine fever could potentially wipe out our valuable pork industry, impacting on the economy and people’s jobs.
“The biggest threat is from the illegal importation of pork or pork products through incoming passenger movements and mail and these products being eaten by pigs,” Mr Furner said.
“A new awareness campaign starting this week will educate community members – particularly those who come in contact with pigs – about the significant threat from African swine fever.
“It only takes one person illegally bringing pork or pork products into Australia from overseas and these being fed to pigs.
“The community needs to know that people food is not pig food and also be able to identify the signs and symptoms of African swine fever and how to report it.
“While people can’t be infected with African swine fever, actions such as feeding pigs ham and cheese rolls and Caesar salads can have detrimental effect on our pork industry.
“Prevention is the key, so we really need everybody to understand the risk and that’s why we’re running this education campaign.
“There is no treatment or vaccine for African swine fever, so if it gets in it will be very hard for us to eradicate the disease. In its most severe form, up to 100 per cent of pigs may be affected and die.
“It is estimated that up to a quarter of the world’s pigs have been lost as a result of African swine fever during the current global outbreak.”
If you keep pigs you must be registered as a biosecurity entity. Visit qld.gov.au/BiosecurityRegistration to learn more.