Australian Pork Newspaper
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Vol 25. No. 5 May 2021 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 162 Wynnum 4178 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Email
An annual operating plan is currently being drafted to deal with feral pigs. Source: Central West LLS
Actioning the National Feral Pig Action Plan
Biosecurity measures need continuous re-evaluation
SINCE joining Aus- tralian Pork Limited in 2019, the pork in- dustry has endured two global pandemics, which continue to put unprecedented pres- sure on supply chains and trade.
In the face of this, through resilience and entrepreneurial agility, the industry has not only persevered but seized opportunities that have strengthened the Australian market position in a state of global triage.
Point of View
Despite significant investments in African swine fever vaccine de- velopment, new cases and variants continue to ravage the Chinese industry.
And while APL is pleased that government has heard the needs of the Australian Pork in- dustry loud and clear by ramping up border se- curity, the sheer volume of positive fragments continuing to reach our borders indicates gaps in the system that must be addressed.
Challenging juris- dictional and industry decision-making pro- cesses ensure that, not only are we able to effectively detect and contain a disease outbreak but keep key supply chains open.
With over 7 million pigs lost so far – and no successful vaccine to date – recovery looks bleak, as global meat shortages continue to compound.
It’s an ominous re- minder that Australia must invest in contin- uous re-evaluation of biosecurity measures to stay on the front foot.
Unfortunately, mail is not the only way ASF could slip through the cracks.
Over the past two years, 50 tonnes of il- legal pork have been intercepted at our bor- ders from international travellers and mailing centres.
Over the past two years, the government detected ASF in four out of 14 mis-declared pork products in non- commercial air cargo from countries with ASF.
The exercise high- lighted that a nationally consistent permitting system supported by in- creased pen-side testing and pre-assessment of premises could ensure trade continues from non-affected states or territories if the disease is detected in domestic pigs.
In four weeks over the recent holiday period, 24 percent of items seized at international mailing centres tested positive for ASF and 1 percent for foot and mouth disease.
Detection of these fragments hasn’t changed Australia’s ASF-free status, but it does mean that eve- ryone has a part to play when it comes to pro- tecting our pigs and the 36,000 Australians who work in our industry.
The innovative cul- ture within our industry means that APL will keep finding new ways to grow in the face of adversity.
Our biosecurity of- ficers should be praised for their ongoing efforts to detect these items and it is a testament to the Federal Gov-
Which is why the pork sector is leading the way in collabora- tion, transparency and investment – creating a
Our united front only strengthens our resolve against these ongoing threats.
ernment’s investment in new 3D scanners, which have consistently increased detection of ASF at international mail centres since 2019.
In last month’s Exer- cise Razorback – the latest national outbreak simulation – industry and APL representa- tives specifically ad- dressed movement con- trols with biosecurity officials, industry, gov- ernment departments, vets and animal disease experts.
cohesive network.
OVER the past 12 months, significant engagement with our Steering Group and the many stakeholders and land managers impacted by feral pigs has led to the development of the first-ever National Feral Pig Action Plan.
methods and systems by land managers. Information hub update
I’m pleased to advise that, following stake- holder feedback from its month-long consultation period during February, the final draft plan has now been provided to the Department of Agricul- ture, Water and the Envi- ronment.
We have recently launched an information hub on the website – fe – to showcase the many feral pig management programs and research projects being conducted around Australia, build networks between pro- grams and share knowl- edge.
The plan is with the En- vironment and Invasives Committee, which is com- prised of state, territory and Commonwealth rep- resentatives from primary industry and environment departments, for consid- eration.
Partnerships between public, private and not- for-profit entities are needed to support and encourage land managers to conduct continued and coordinated best-practice feral pig management pro- grams.
The purpose of the plan is to guide and support land managers to work to- gether to deliver effective, coordinated, sustained and humane best-practice management of feral pigs.
If you know of any co- ordinated feral pig man- agement programs being undertaken in your area, email contact@feralpigs., so they can be included.
The plan will be final- ised once it is endorsed by the national biosecurity committee.
As interstate travel is becoming more feasible, we are engaging with as many stakeholders as pos- sible to outline what is needed to achieve a sus- tained reduction in the many environmental, agricultural, cultural and social impacts caused by feral pigs.
The three key goals of the plan are, first, to provide leadership and strategic coordination for sustained feral pig man- agement.
To discuss any items in this article, contact Dr Heather Channon, na- tional feral pig manage- ment coordinator on 0423 056 045 or email heather. au
The updated draft plan is now available at feral
While it’s all very well to have words on a page, we are strongly focussed on implementing the plan to achieve and maintain much-needed reductions in feral pig impacts.
Second, build commu- nity awareness of impacts caused by feral pigs and enhance capacity and ca- pability of all land man- agers to apply humane, best practice manage- ment.
To drive this, an im- plementation committee is being established to oversee the plan’s imple-
We are also increasing awareness of the national feral pig action plan itself,
And third, increase the adoption of best practice
mentation, set strategic priorities and attract long- term investment.
including local coordi- nated programs that land managers can take part in.
During April, an addi- tional 25 programs were added.
An annual operating plan is currently being drafted, setting out priori- ties and key performance indicators for the next 12 months.
The plan’s actions are focussed on suppression or eradication where fea- sible of feral pig popula- tions to reduce their im- pacts.
To subscribe to the monthly newsletter, email
Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
by HEATHER CHANNON National Feral Pig Management Co-ordinator
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