A second international visitor has been refused entry to Australia asinternational animal health experts warn of the continuing spread of Africanswine fever through Asia and the world.
Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said a 60 year old Vietnamese manwho arrived in Sydney with nearly 4kg of pork-filled mooncakes stowed in hisluggage had been fined and was being sent home for failing to declare thefood.
“Travellers are banned from bringing most pork products from African swinefever countries into Australia, full stop,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It’s one of the heightened measures our Government put in place to keep thedevastating disease out of Australia and to protect our 2700 pork producers.
“A recent round of testing found nearly 50 per cent of pork products seizedfrom air travellers tested positive for African swine fever.
“That’s why I have a zero tolerance approach to those who intentionally do thewrong thing and lie about what they’re carrying.
“If pork products carrying the virus get past our border, are eaten by familyand friends and the leftovers fed to pigs then we’ll be in a world of pain.
“Swill feeding, or the practice of feeding leftovers containing meat to pigs,is not permitted in Australia, something our pig farmers are very well awareof.
“But there are hobby farmers and pet pig owners that we need to get thatmessage through to.
“There’s also 10 times more feral pigs than farmed pigs in Australia who eatwhat they find at landfill sites as well as in the bush.
“This disease is already responsible for the loss of a quarter of the world’spigs – there’s no vaccine and no cure.
“A change of this magnitude in the global protein supply chain hasramifications for international food security, depressing prices for feedgrain, as well as increasing prices and competition for other protein sources.
“So next time you’re passing through an airport and you think it isn’t worthdeclaring the pork jerky in your handbag, or the mooncakes in your case –think again.
“Your actions really do matter when it comes to safeguarding Australia fromthis disease.”
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