Biosecurity Queensland has launched a campaign aimed at making Queenslanders aware of the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF), following further detections of the illness in Indonesia and Greece.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner said ASF could potentially wipe out the State’s valuable pork industry, impacting the economy and people’s jobs.
“The biggest threat is from the illegal importation of pork or pork products through incoming passenger movements and mail and these products being eaten by pigs,” Mr Furner said.
“The new awareness campaign will educate community members – particularly those who come in contact with pigs – about the significant threat from ASF.”
He said it would take only one person illegally bringing pork or pork products into Australia from overseas and these items being fed to pigs.
“The community needs to know that people food is not pig food and also be able to identify the signs and symptoms of ASF and how to report it,” Mr Furner said.
“While people can’t be infected with ASF, actions such as feeding pigs ham and cheese rolls and Caesar salads can have detrimental effect on our pork industry.”
He said there was no treatment or vaccine for ASF.
“If it gets in it will be very hard for us to eradicate the disease,” Mr Furner said.
“In its most severe form, up to 100 per cent of pigs may be affected and die.”
He said it was estimated that up to a quarter of the world’s pigs had been lost as a result of ASF during the current outbreak.