… Customs officers have seized 23 tonnes of pork from countries affected by African swine fever since border checks were stepped up, with 15 per cent testing positive for the virus...
Swine fever fears prompt emergency meeting at Parliament House
via The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) - September 6, 2019
Experts have gathered to discuss an incurable and highly contagious disease that could destroy Australia's pork industry.
Swine fever is wiping out pigs across Asia and Europe and threatens to decimate the $2.8 billion pork industry in Australia.
Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie summoned the country's chief veterinary officer and industry leaders to Parliament House in Canberra on Friday.
"African swine fever is potentially the biggest animal disease event the world has ever seen and it's marching south through Asia towards Australia," she said.
"The threats to the system are real and deserve proper resourcing and national attention," Senator McKenzie said.
"We need everyone to take biosecurity seriously and make sure they don't become a vector for the disease."
The disease does not pose a threat to humans but kills about 80 per cent of the pigs it infects.
China's pig population has been slashed by 30 per cent since the country was gripped by African swine fever.
Half of China's herd could be killed by the end of this year - a loss of 200 million animals, or one-in-four of the world's pigs.
Senator McKenzie is desperate to protect Australia's 2700 pig producers and the 36,000 workers who rely on their businesses.
Customs officers have seized 23 tonnes of pork from countries affected by African swine fever since border checks were stepped up, with 15 per cent testing positive for the virus...