ASF found at border

By Country News

Australia’s pork industry is calling on travellers not to bring meat products into Australia after a devastating disease was stopped at the international border recently.

Biosecurity authorities detected African swine fever in a number of banned pork products recently, with officers from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources seizing a number of meat products from overseas travellers.

The disease has proven devastating for China’s pork industry recently, and although not directly affecting public health or food safety, it is highly infectious and terminal for pigs as there is no cure.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said it had increased its border activities as a result of the recent spread of ASF.

The department’s biosecurity head Lyn O’Connell said the detection of the virus in seized products at the border did not change Australia’s African swine fever-free status.

‘‘The test results do, however, reinforce the importance of continued compliance with Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements,’’ Ms O’Connell said.

‘‘African swine fever is not present in Australia.

‘‘If introduced it would have a significant impact on pig health and production, and contribute to wider economic impacts caused by a loss of access to overseas markets for our pork products.’’

Australian Pork Ltd said the seizure was another warning for the industry and encouraged producers to be vigilant about their biosecurity measures.