Fiji has banned the personal importation of pork and pork related products from Australia and New Zealand
This is due to the spread of the African Swine Flu that kills pigs.
Fiji is currently free of the disease.
A Biosecurity of Fiji alert has tied the spread of the ASF to the Chinese New Year.
“As per Chinese calendar this is the Year of the Pig 2019, which leads to massive movement of human, swine populations and products and thus poses a high-risk period for the transboundary spread of the disease. Transmission of the disease is strongly linked to the movement of domestic and wild pigs, as well as pork products,” states the BAF alert.
African Swine Flu can also be transmitted through shoes, clothes, vehicles or equipment due to the high resistance of ASF virus in the environment.
BAF says travellers, farmers and customs officers have a role to play to avoid carrying the deadly virus across regional or national borders.
“Australia and New Zealand were only two countries allowed to safely export pork and pork products into Fiji, however, due to 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,” says BAF.
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.
African Swine Flu is not a risk to human health.
“It affects animal welfare, causes severe production and economic losses, and can threaten food security,” BAF states in the alert.
There is no treatment and vaccine against ASF.
“If this disease enters Fiji, it will require culling of all pigs to eradicate or control the spread,” BAF states.