FOLLOWING the detection of African swine fever in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, Biosecurity Queensland has accelerated its preparedness activities.

Minister for agricultural industry development Mark Furner said the detection put Queensland at the frontline of this exotic pig disease and heightened the risk to the state’s pork industry.

“Biosecurity Queensland has been on the front foot in the fight against African swine fever and continues to work to with the Australian government and the pig industry to provide a united front against African swine fever.”

Australia is free from African swine fever and we want to keep it that way, Mr Furner said.

If African swine fever became established in Queensland it would be difficult to eradicate and could significantly impact pork availability, jobs and the economy.

“That is why African swine fever prevention and preparedness remains a priority for Queensland and if it is detected here in Queensland we will respond,” Mr Furner said.

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He said the confirmation of African swine fever in Papua New Guinea was a reminder that this disease remained a serious threat.

“Given Papua New Guinea is one of our nearest neighbours and the large feral pig population in Far North Queensland people need to be aware of how they can help reduce the risk of African swine fever,” Mr Furner said.

“People illegally bringing pigs or pork products into Australia could introduce African swine fever, threatening our pork industry.

“While people can’t be infected with African swine fever, it can easily be spread between pigs and can be spread on people’s boots and clothing if not cleaned correctly.”

There is no treatment or vaccine for African swine fever and in its most severe form it can kill 100% of infected pigs.

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