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African Swine Fever Awareness Post #1

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If you haven't already heard of African Swine Fever, now is the time to pay attention.
In short it is a disease sweeping the world and has killed about 25 per cent of the world's domestic pig population.
It has no cure.
It is now in East Timor only about 650kms from the Northern Territory.
It has obvious repercussions for our domestic pork production, including the impact on 35,000 jobs.
But why should pig hunters care?

There are many reasons you should care, beyond the impact to jobs, the nation's food security, worldwide food security and the nation's economy.

  • Hunting access could be eliminated. If ASF (African Swine Fever) reaches us there will be a massive containment operation. That will include closing down hunting access.
  • Hunting access could be eliminated. If ASF (African Swine Fever) reaches us there will be a massive containment operation. That will include closing down hunting access.]
  • Massive wild pig poisoning programs. The wild pig population is seen as a major uncontrolled factor in the potential spread of the disease. Major (aerial) wild pig baiting will be one of the first control measures introduced.
  • New rules on the transport of pig carcases. Because is very resilient, the movement of wild pig carcases could be made illegal.
  • Export trade in wild pigs suspended. What there is left of the export trade would be suspended in line with limitations on carcase movement.

We know this because we have been briefed on the issue since before the disease reached East Timor and because of the APDHA's strong relationship with the NT Government. 

So what can we do?

In the NT APDHA members and others will be part of a monitoring system which will include education, sample taking, reporting of possibly diseased animals and control operations.
The APDHA will be helping with the provision of sampling equipment, protocols and collating of information.
More on that to come..

Elsewhere, we will be asking APDHA members to start collecting samples as part of an early warning system so any potential outbreak is roped off ASAP.

The third and possibly most important thing is if you know of anyone who thinks moving live wild pigs around is a smart idea, tell them it isn't , report them, deal with any one of a number of ways but squash it. Pig hunters are sometimes accused of moving pigs to improve hunting opportunities closer to their homes. We know of only two convictions for that sort of thing in the past 15 years in NSW and none anywhere else. However, doing it once from now on could be an absolute disaster for the domestic pig industry and the wild pig hunting lifestyle. Anyone moving wild pigs is directly threatening your hunting. 

We are working on the necessary processes to assist in the broadscale approach to ASF with people including the NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources and Australian Pork Ltd the domestic pork producers representative body and they are very much onside with pig hunters and their potential contribution.

We will keep everyone informed as the situation develops.


Edited by Dogmann

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