African Swine Fever has been detected in banned pork products travellers were trying to get into the country.
Australia’s strict biosecurity authorities detected the African Swine Fever (ASF) at the international border in banned pork products.
ASF has proven devastating for the pork industry across China recently.
Officers from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources seized a range of meat products from travellers coming into Australia and through the international mail, and found six of the 152 samples were contaminated with ASF.
Australian Pork Limited (APL) chief executive officer Andrew Spencer praised the diligence of Commonwealth biosecurity officers, but said the seizure was another warning for the industry, and an acknowledgement of the catastrophic threat on Australia’s doorstep.
“The message is clear – if you are travelling to Australia, do not bring in any pork or animal products with you,” Mr Spencer said.
“It’s imperative that travellers do the right thing and respect Australia’s biosecurity protocols. Australia remains ASF-free and we intend to keep this destructive disease away from Australia’s pig farms.
“On behalf of Australia’s 2500 pig farmers and 36,000 pork supply chain workers, I implore travellers into Australia to adhere to our laws.
“People purchasing goods online also need to make sure that 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.”
He said every person coming into Australia could help protect livestock from this painful disease, and support the future success of a critical part of Australia’s agriculture industry.
While the disease does not directly affect public health or food safety, it is highly infectious and terminal for pigs, posing a significant threat on the entire industry.
There is no cure for ASF. Any passengers carrying and not declaring these goods when entering the country face fines of up to $420,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years.
Australian pork producers are encouraged to be vigilant about their biosecurity measures and to implement more stringent requirements to prevent an incursion on their properties.
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