Ban on pork imports

BAF has banned imported pork. Picture: FT FILE

THE Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has banned imported pork from New Zealand and Australia until further notice.

This comes after an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China, Mongolia, Belgium, Romania, Latvia and Bulgaria.

In an alert statement issued yesterday, BAF said though the disease did not pose a danger to human health, ASF threatened animal welfare and caused severe production and economic losses.

“Fiji is free from ASF, however, carelessness can bring and spread the disease in Fiji,” the statement highlighted.

“While millions or even billions of people are travelling to celebrate the Lunar New Year with family and friends, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) urges each of us to respect basic rules to avoid further spread of the epidemic.

“Moreover, there is no treatment and vaccine against it thus leaving no prevention strategies. Thus if this disease enters Fiji, it will require culling of all pigs to eradicate or control the spread.”

The authority stated that both Australia and New Zealand were the only two countries allowed to safely export pork and pork products into Fiji.

“However, because of the limited traceability of the disease with personal consignments and the increased global transmission of ASF, personal importation of all pork and pork products is restricted from Australia and New Zealand until further notice. Importation of pork and pork products will be facilitated with personal import permit and veterinary certificates with the origin of New Zealand and Australia only.”

According to BAF, hosts of the virus are African wild swine, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, domestic pigs, European wild boar and American wild pigs.

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