Australia tests ASF outbreak simulation

Biosecurity officials, government departments, vets and animal disease experts across Australia have joined forces to simulate an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).

ABC Rural reported that Exercise Razorback involved the mock discovery of an outbreak of ASF on a commercial pig farm in Victoria.

The Northern Territory’s executive director of biosecurity and animal welfare, Sarah Corcoran said Exercise Razorback looked at the first 24 hours after the detection of the virus.

“As you can imagine, in the first 24 hours there is not a whole lot of information available, but it was an opportunity for us to examine what that scenario looks like, and whether there are flow-on effects to other parts of the country,” she said.

Ms Corcoran added: “We looked at implementing movement controls to slow its spread, and then looked at what market access issues arise, whether or not we can still move livestock around.

“The scenario looked at international export markets, in terms of our agreements and what their requirements are for product and to ensure it is ASF free. And we looked at what a product recall might be if that was a necessary step such as if there was pork product in the supply chain that had to be recalled.”

Exercise Razorback was carried out on Friday, December 6 and again yesterday Monday, December 9.

In May, South Australia conducted a similar, three-day field simulation exercise, known as Exercise Rapid Strike, testing the state’s ability to respond to an African swine fever outbreak.

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