While south-west Victoria in Australia is more than 400 miles from the latest outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in East Timor, a pig farmer said that he has focused his attention on biosecurity measures.
Barongarook pork producer Xavier Meade told ABC News: “”Early on, when it was first discovered in Europe, we didn’t really pay that much attention to it. I guess now, with the spread of it through Asia and the fact it is so close to home, just being discovered in East Timor, it is starting to be a real issue for us.”
Mr Meade said protecting his 26-sow operation comes down to a focus on biosecurity. His plan includes disinfection of the hands and boots of all arrivals to the farm and thoroughly washing transport vehicles post-abattoir visits.
As per Australian regulations, there is also no swill feeding.
Barongarook Pork sells to restaurants and private customers throughout western Victoria and as yet, ASF has not been raised as an issue by customers.
“I don’t think it’s something the general public are probably aware of at the moment,” Mr Meade said.
With the disease wiping out huge stocks of pigs, Mr Meade said there could be an opening for Australian pork producers.
“I think the opportunity would come if the other countries couldn’t control the outbreak and were left decimated,” he said.