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Top tips to protect Australia’s biosecurity

20 Nov 2019

As we move into the festive season, leading to an increase in travellers and mail moving in and out of the country, the risk of an exotic disease entering Australia is heightened.

One such disease is African swine fever (ASF), which has marched its way through domestic and wild pig populations throughout China, South-East Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. Although highly contagious and fatal to pigs, this disease does not pose a risk to human health.

Everyone has a part to play to help prevent entry of ASF and other diseases that can have devastating effects on Australia’s agriculture in Australia, including students travelling from overseas or receiving care packages.

Here are six simple top tips you can follow to help prevent the entry and spread of disease:

  • Make sure you declare any meat products you may be travelling with when coming from overseas, especially products containing pork. Even if you’re unsure, the best practice is just to declare.
  • Remind your family and friends to not post any meat products to you – this includes smallgoods, jerky.
  • If you do happen to receive meat or pork products in the post, the recommendation is to eat it! Once again, ASF poses no risk to human health.
  • Make sure you dispose of leftover meat or pork products correctly by double-bagging the product and placing it in the rubbish bin that goes for landfill – not the green waste, compost or recycling bin.
  • Be aware of the biosecurity requirements when online shopping.
  • Above all, DO NOT feed meat products, or any food that has come into contact (e.g. shared a plate) with meat to pigs.

If you’re unsure of what to do, visit https://beta.biosecurity.gov.au/individual for more information.

Biosecurity is everybody’s business and it’s a shared responsibility to maintain Australia’s disease-free status and protect our Agricultural industries’ reputation for high-quality livestock and fresh produce.

 

Last reviewed: 20/11/2019

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