Page 6 - Australian Pork Newspaper
P. 6

Another year, another biosecurity threat
Point of View
IT seems prices have turned around (but not the cost of feed grain), only for producers to face new threats in the form of biosecurity at the border.
News broke towards the end of last year about a purported illegal impor- tation of pig genetics in Western Australia, and
just before Christmas a Brisbane company and its director were fined for biosecurity breaches asso- ciated with the transport and storage of imported uncooked pig meat.
Such blatant and egre- gious breaches of bio- security will not be tol- erated by the Australian pork industry.
You let us know this and it is our job to communi- cate your concerns to gov- ernment officials – which is occurring very regu- larly over recent months.
In addition to these in- cidents, Australia’s pig producers have been very concerned about the spread of African swine fever.
A positive detection in
wild boar in Belgium saw the Australian Depart- ment of Agriculture and Water Resources revoke import conditions for im- ported pig meat from Bel- gium.
While closer to home, China is struggling to contain the spread of ASF (see Figure 1).
Most recently, several larger farms in China are now infected with ASF, some with significant pro- duction capacity.
The latest FAO report states there have been 98 outbreaks in 23 provinces, with more than 700,000 pigs culled.
Concerning is that on Christmas Day, Tian- jin Customs (a port near Hong Kong) reported a detection of ASF virus DNA in two batches of pig blood powder produced by a company registered for export.
During the last week of December, China relaxed some of its transport con- trols for live pigs and pig products.
In epidemic zones, di- rect transportation from farm to slaughter is now permitted if certain con- ditions are met, such as limited to the same prov- ince.
Farms must meet con- ditions (such as tested negative for ASF) while abattoirs must also meet conditions including they do not take sick/dead pigs.
On a more positive note, from February 1, China will introduce mandatory ASF testing at abattoir.
Where this is positive, all pigs will be culled, and the plant is to cease opera- tions for 48 hours.
While this may be posi-
tive, given the propensity of the virus to survive, there is a period of per- haps nine months where infected pork meat has or is in circulation.
The Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, is on high alert.
The potential for ASF to continue its spread to neighbouring countries is real.
The DAWR continues its role to administer controls at the border, with the most recent changes including banning the importation of pork jerky on incoming passengers and introducing additional import condi- tions for pigs’ ears.
Given that officials in South Korea and Japan had found ASF-positive pork products in the lug- gage of incoming passen- gers, DAWR continues to see incoming passengers and mail as the major area of risk for Australia.
The increased border surveillance with bio- security dogs and bio- security personnel can only achieve so much.
It is up to everyone to ensure Australia remains free of ASF.
Keeping your pigs safe requires additional focus on this biosecurity risk.
The major safeguards for your pigs are:
• Do not feed swill to pigs (swill includes pet food);
• Ensure there are in place appropriate policies for piggery visits by family, friends and staff returning from overseas; and
• Ensure there are ade- quate biosecurity arrange- ments in place on your farm and consider more stringent arrangements to manage the risk.
by DEB KERR General Manager Policy
Figure 1: African swine fever status in China.
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Page 6 – Australian Pork Newspaper, January 2019
API0407 02082017

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