More African swine fever outbreaks in Indonesia

More African swine fever outbreaks in Indonesia

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DISEASE THREAT: More outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in Indonesia, heightening fears the disease could come to Australia.

DISEASE THREAT: More outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in Indonesia, heightening fears the disease could come to Australia.

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More outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed in Indonesia.

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MORE outbreaks of African swine fever has been detected in Indonesia, further heightening fears the deadly disease could come to Australia.

ASF was detected by Indonesian authorities in North Sumatra, which are also reported to be investigating pig deaths in other provinces.

North Sumatra is one of Indonesia's largest islands and is home to 1.2 million pigs.

The highly contagious virus kills about 80 per cent of the pigs it infects.

There is no cure and no vaccine.

Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the news was concerning, especially as Indonesia, and Bali in particular, was a popular tourist destination for Australian tourists.

"There are about 188 flights a week from Indonesia direct into Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin," Ms McKenzie said.

"Bali is a favourite holiday destination for Australians and it's also a region with a lot of pigs.

"It can be spread by people going into an affected area and taking the virus out on their shoes, or through pigs eating scraps that contain affected product.

"Our government has already responded to this global disease threat to safeguard the 36,000 jobs that rely on our pork industry and to protect Australia's international trade, built on our reputation for producing safe food and fibre."

READ MORE: Fever outbreak would wipe out Australia's purebred pigs

The Morrison government announced last week an extra 130 more biosecurity officers would be placed at Australian airports at a cost of $66.6 million to do half a million more passenger screenings and deploy an extra six detector dogs.

Ms McKenzie said the virus was exceptionally hardy and could live in frozen meat for up to two years and in blood for six years.

The increased biosecurity measures appear necessary.

Biosecurity officers have seized a staggering 32 tonnes of pork from air travelers in less than a year.

Tests show about 50pc of the seized product contained African swine fever.

The story More African swine fever outbreaks in Indonesia first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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