Protect our pigs from African swine fever

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Two Ukrainian nationals attempting to bring in nearly five kilos of pork and pork products have had their visas cancelled in September 2020. The importing of pork and pork products increases the risk that African swine fever will enter Australia.

African swine  fever (ASF) is a highly contagious pig disease that is spreading rapidly in  Eastern Europe, China and South East Asia.

Australia remains  free from ASF and it is crucial that the disease is kept out.

ASF will  devastate Australia’s pork industry if it gets in. It could also lead to  hunting restrictions and wild boar populations could be wiped out.

The greatest  risk of introducing the disease to Australia is through people illegally  bringing pork or pork products into Australia from overseas, and feeding those  products to pigs.

Territorians are  urged to do their part to uphold biosecurity in the Territory. Help prevent an  outbreak of ASF in Australia by following good biosecurity practices:

  • When buying goods online, you need to consider where your goods are coming from and whether they will meet our biosecurity conditions when they arrive at Australia’s international mail facility. Before you make your purchase, check what can and cannot be mailed to Australia.
  • Never feed pigs food or food scraps containing animal matter such as meat, meat products and eggs. This includes swill (food scraps) that is contaminated by animal matter. Only feed pigs commercially available feed, and always dispose of food waste properly so pigs can’t eat them. The National Farm Biosecurity Manual for Pork Production contains information and specific procedures for all pig farmers to follow to help reduce the risk of disease entering a property, spreading through livestock and/or being passed to surrounding animals.
  • Paying particular attention to biosecurity requirements when visiting or returning to Australia, especially after visiting countries where ASF may be present. Before you travel, check what can and cannot be brought into Australia.
  • Registering for a free property identification code (PIC). In the Territory, it is a legal requirement for all owners of livestock, including pigs and chickens, to register their property with a PIC. PIC registrations are free and are crucial to managing responses to disease outbreaks and alerting property owners of a potential disease threat in the area.
  • Vets who treat pigs should familiarise themselves with the clinical signs of ASF. ASF is a reportable disease. Veterinarians must notify the chief veterinary officer in their state or territory if they suspect or know an animal has a notifiable disease.

The Territory Government is also asking pig owners and pig  hunters to remain vigilant for ASF as this serious disease continues to spread  through neighbouring regions. If you’re hunting and you observe a sick or dead pig,  please contact the Emergency Animal Disease hotline on 1800 675 888. Do not  come into contact with or move any pigs that are sick or found dead.

For more  information on ASF, visit the NT Government  website

Protect our pigs from African swine fever

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