April 28, 2020
Australia has mobilised a team to help Papua New Guinea deal with an outbreak of African Swine Fever.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Marise Payne said the the urgent multi-agency response aimed to slow the spread of ASF in Papua New Guinea and prevent its incursion into Australia.
“With the confirmation of ASF in our near neighbour, our biosecurity measures are more important than ever as it could devastate Australia’s pork industry if it were to arrive here,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We commend Papua New Guinea for its quick action in response to the outbreak and we will continue to offer support to Papua New Guinea as it works to contain this disease.
“My department is providing PNG’s Chief Veterinary Officer with remote technical assistance, laboratory support and sharing expertise in working with remote communities to support PNG’s quarantine agency’s ASF response.”
Minister Payne said Australia was is providing technical, risk communications, logistics and strategic co-ordination support through the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus program.
“We are assisting Papua New Guinea with technical assistance through the provision of a veterinarian, help to establish a local disease control centre and the provision of logistics support at the location of the outbreak,” Minister Payne said.
“A key part of our response is the deployment of a risk-communications specialist to increase public awareness, including by producing targeted messages.”
Minister Payne said the support was whole-of-government, with the Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police working closely with PNG counterparts to establish checkpoints to reduce the spread of the fever.
The Department of Home Affairs was also working with the PNG Government in relation to import controls.
Australia was also collaborating closely with New Zealand and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
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