Warning about severe threat from African swine fever

Warning about severe threat from African swine fever

Published: 8th November 2019

BANANA Shire residents are urged to remain on alert for African swine fever as the serious disease of pigs continues to spread in neighbouring countries.

African swine fever is an infectious viral disease of domestic and feral pigs.

People cannot be infected. African swine fever can result in a very high mortality rate in infected pigs and there is no vaccine or treatment available.

If it were introduced to Australia, African swine fever would significantly impact pig health and production.

Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier said it was important that people were aware of the seriousness of this pig virus; how to prevent it from arriving in this country and spreading; and how to report suspected cases of African swine fever.

“Council has been advised by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries that this virus poses a real threat to Australian communities,” Cr Ferrier said.

“We have large scale pig producers who would be severely affected if they were hit by swine fever.

“We also have a large feral pig population, which could escalate the spread of the disease if it landed on Australian shores.

“It is therefore important that everybody takes the time to educate themselves on this disease – producers, hunters, consumers – everybody,” Cr Ferrier said.

Pigs can become infected with African swine fever virus by:

  • eating contaminated pork products and feed
  • close contact with infected pigs
  • contact with contaminated equipment.

The greatest risk of introduction to Australia is from people illegally bringing pork or pork products into Australia from overseas and the products being fed to or eaten by pigs.

The public can help reduce the risk of African swine fever being introduced by complying with the requirements for what can and can’t be brought into Australia – visit agriculture.gov.au

Biosecurity Queensland has plans and tools available for pig keepers to protect their animals from the virus – qld.gov.au/biosecurityregistration

For more information on African swine fever call 132 523 or visit qld.gov.au/African SwineFever