September 8, 2020
The reality that African Swine Fever could reach Australia has prompted the Federal Government to negotiate a special zoning arrangement with Singapore, the country’s largest export market for pork.
“The Australian Government remains committed to keeping Australia’s $60 billion agricultural sector free of biosecurity threats, including African Swine Fever (ASF),” Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said on Tuesday.
But he said the new arrangement would improve certainty for exporters.
The zoning arrangement will facilitate the export of Australian pig meat between Singapore and Australia in the event of an outbreak of the disease.
“Singapore is Australia’s single largest export market for pig meat with exports of over $60 million in 2019-20 and I express my gratitude to the Singaporean government for agreeing to these arrangements,” Minister Littleproud said.
ASF is a highly contagious and viral disease which kills domestic and wild pigs but does not affect humans.
“If ASF were to reach Australia it could have a significant impact on pig health and production and contribute to wider economic impacts caused by a loss of access to overseas markets for our pork products,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The zoning arrangement is comprehensive and covers a range of potential scenarios to minimise trade disruption in the event of an ASF outbreak in Australia, including ensuring exports can continue from non-affected States or Territories if the disease is detected in domestic pigs.
“The zoning arrangement is funded through the Australian Government’s $66.6 million ASF Response Package which has also funded more biosecurity officers, detector dogs and high-tech three-dimensional x-ray machines on the front line of airports and mail centres.”
Australian Pork Limited CEO Margo Andrae said the Australian pork industry and APL warmly welcomed the announcement of the Australia-Singapore ASF pre-emptive zoning arrangement.
“We extend our thanks to the Australian and Singaporean governments for concluding this important arrangement, which will help maintain the flow of Australian pork exports to Singapore in the event of an outbreak,” Ms Andrae said.
“This is an important win for Singaporean consumers as well as for Aussie pig farmers, who now have greater certainty of access to export markets.
“Continued, conditional access to overseas markets could help limit the commercial impact of an ASF outbreak in Australia. As such, the arrangement is a central pillar in APL’s ASF preparedness strategy.
“APL is pleased to have worked with both governments on behalf of farmers in support of this positive outcome.”
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