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Australian biosecurity authorities detect ASF in seized food

by 5m Editor
17 January 2019, at 12:00am

Australia’s biosecurity authorities have detected African swine fever (ASF) at its international border banned pork products, a disease that 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.


"On behalf of Australia’s 2,500 pig farmers and 36,000 pork supply chain workers, I implore travellers into Australia to adhere to our laws."
Andrew Spencer, CEO of Australian Pork Limited (APL)

Australian Pork Limited (APL), the industry body representing Australian pig farmers, 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," APL CEO, Andrew 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 2,500 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.

"Every person coming into Australia can help protect our 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 A$420, 000 and imprisonment for up to ten years1.

As reported by Australian Pork

1 Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Arriving in Australia Biosecurity Fact Sheet, http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/arriving-english-factsheet.pdf