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African Swine Fever

January/February 2019

Kylie Challen, Biosecurity Coordinator

Pigs in a pen

You may have heard about confirmed cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China and parts of Europe. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. If ASF was introduced into Australia there would be significant impacts to pig health and production, and it would compromise Australia’s international markets. This disease would also be difficult and costly to eradicate.

In light of the increase of ASF incursions overseas, the Commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture & Water Resources (DAWR) has recently tested pork products seized at the border (international airports and mail centres). Six of 152 pork products seized have tested positive for ASF. This highlights the importance of Australia’s swill feeding laws and remaining vigilant for signs of disease.

Early detection is imperative for diseases such as ASF. Whether you own one pig, or you are a producer, please monitor your animal’s health and remain vigilant and promptly report any signs of fever, depression, loss of appetite , vomiting or diarrhoea to your nearest District Vet or the emergency disease hotline on 1800 675 888.

Please remember that pigs must not be fed meat, any mammalian products or food that has been in contact with meat. This is prohibited under Division 9 of the (NSW) Biosecurity Regulations 2017.

Therefore, if you have any concerns regarding swill feeding; please contact your nearest District Vet or Local Land Services Biosecurity Team.

Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s best to leave any high risk items overseas when travelling or shopping online. Please use the helpful links below for more information regarding what can be brought into Australia:

Take a moment to review your current farm/business biosecurity practices and the need to educate staff/farm visitors. Please ensure these practices cover how to manage overseas visitors, or those who have recently returned from overseas travel.