The Australian Government is filling gaps in its biosecurity to mitigate a potential disastrous outbreak of African swine fever as the virus moves closer.
Detector dog Suki was responsible for 298 high risk meat interceptions last year, 23 of which were pork products from ASF infected countries.
Suki began the crucial job of detecting biosecurity risks at Darwin Airport after the news broke that outbreaks had occurred in Timor-Leste, just 650km from the Top End’s border.
“African swine fever – potentially the biggest animal disease event the world has ever seen – is moving nearer to Australia and in September reached our near neighbour Timor-Leste,” Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie said.
“I’m all about stopping it from reaching our shores.”
Northern Territory Senator, Sam McMahon, a former vet said the recent deployment was a vital part of Australia’s defence against damaging biosecurity threats.
“African swine fever has the potential to kill a quarter of the world’s pig herd by the end of the year so we’ve ramped up inspection at airports and sea ports.”
But despite the best efforts of theAustralian Government, the Australian pork industry remains on high alert said Australian Pork Limited CEO Margo Andrae.
“We’re trying every way we can to get the message out about how important Australia’s biosecurity is.
Senator McMahon encouraged all Australians to talk to family overseas to help them help us all by not sending pork products.
“This is a desperate plea for people to adhere to our biosecurity laws.”