Page 7 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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Producers leading feral pig response in WA
WESTERN Australia’s pork industry is targeting southern feral pig popu- lations encroaching on pig production districts in efforts to defend it- self from African swine fever and other biosecu- rity risks.
defence in upholding on- farm biosecurity and pro- tecting our pigs from this devastating disease.
seeking support from other landholders, in- cluding other pork pro- ducers, to strengthen feral pig management in agri- cultural areas in WA.
Australian Pork Lim- ited CEO Margo Andrae said protecting the na- tion’s $5.3 billion pork industry from the threat of ASF required vigilance regarding the potential arrival of ASF via ille- gally imported infected pig meat and subsequent transmission to feral pigs in southern Australia.
“The work by producers to strengthen on-farm bi- osecurity is crucial, as is the stakeholder collabora- tion being led by National Feral Pig Management Coordinator Dr Heather Channon.”
They are also proactively engaging with stake- holders already involved in feral pig management programs, such as the Lake Muir-Denbarker Community Feral Pig Eradication Group, which was established in 2000.
“In terms of the risk management we’re doing for the potential arrival of ASF in Australia, we know its inadvertent ar- rival in infected meat brought in from overseas is a critical risk,” Ms An- drae said.
“Westpork and CM Farms initiated a feral pig trapping program in Oc- tober last year, following an Australian Wool Inno- vation workshop on feral pigs and wild dogs,” Dr Channon said.
APL CEO Margo Andrae.
“Scraps of imported meat infected with ASF, which end up being con- sumed by pigs either via careless swill feeding or at a local rubbish dump, is how the disease island- hopped its way through South-East Asia all the way to Papua New Guinea,” Ms Andrae said.
“Working with Dr Peter Adams from the Depart- ment of Primary Indus- tries and Regional Devel- opment, two boars were fitted with tracking col- lars,” Dr Channon said.
“Our airports, seaports and international mail centres are the frontline in our defence against ASF.
“This program high- lights strong local land- holder engagement, sup- port and commitment is needed to address risks posed by feral pigs at the local level and to monitor their impacts.”
“For pork producers, controlling the incursion of feral pigs near pig farms is the second vital line of
Dr Channon said West- pork and CM Farms are
Dr Channon said major WA commercial pro- ducers, Westpork and CM Farms, were investing in feral pig management measures in parts of the state where their piggeries are located.
Opportunities for collab- oration by the wide range of stakeholders impacted by feral pigs, to look at ways to co-fund projects and share resources is what the National Feral Pig Management Program is looking to see replicated across the country.
“That’s why federal border checks have been strengthened, why more sniffer dogs have been deployed and why people are being deported for il- legally importing meat in their luggage.”
“The companies have bought two $8000 traps and are funding two expe- rienced trappers.”
Ms Andrae said the Inspector-General of Bi- osecurity’s updated ASF report confirmed customs screening was the best de- fence against ASF, which poses a $2 billion risk to Australia’s economy.
Local farmers are col- laborating in the initia- tive by providing property access to trappers and grain to attract feral pigs into the traps, which are fitted with cameras and remotely operated gates.
Since October, 130 pigs have been trapped and eu- thanised.
Feral pigs are under increased pressure in WA.
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Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2020 – Page 7
“Concerningly, it was only a matter of weeks until one of the boars was located on a piggery boundary.
National Feral Pig Management Coordinator Dr Heather Channon.

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