How travelers threaten the Australian $ 5 billion pork industry and how long people are going to hide it
Naive travelers threaten Australia's $ 5 billion pork industry by smuggling disease-infected meat into the country.
There is fear that African swine fever could reach Australia and decimate pig farms after they had already spread to neighboring countries.
This year, the rate of African swine fever in pork products at Australia's international airports has risen from 15 to 50 percent.
African swine fever has grown enormously in the Asian region since it was first discovered in China in August 2018.
Naive travelers threaten Australia's $ 5 billion pork industry by smuggling disease-infected meat into the country (photo: pork-filled mooncakes seized at Sydney airport)
A Vietnamese tourist was deported from Australia because he tried to bring pork to the country this month (photo)
A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture told Yahoo News that some people & # 39; a lot of trouble & # 39; have done to hide the meat.
A 45-year-old Vietnamese woman was sent back in October after 4.6 kg of raw pork and other food was found in her suitcase at Sydney International Airport.
Last week, a 60-year-old Vietnamese man was also deported from Australia because he was trying to bring pork to the country.
He failed to report nearly four kilos of pork-filled mooncakes, a traditional Chinese bakery product.
More than 200 million pigs are infected or killed worldwide with a strain of African swine fever virus, meaning that Australia is more difficult than ever to protect its local products.
The virus causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs and kills the animals quickly – sometimes in just a week.
Because the virus cannot be cured, China has lost at least 39 percent of their pigs.
The aggressive virus is only dangerous for pigs and is not considered to be a threat to public health or food safety.
Scientists are currently struggling to make a vaccine for the complex virus and claim that they may be years away from a breakthrough.
The man tried to bring pork-filled mooncakes (photo) to Australia without indicating them
More than 200 million pigs worldwide have been infected or killed with a strain of African swine fever virus
Yet the virus is considered a threat to biosafety for Australia and the pig industry and a threat to the country's 2.5 million domestic pig population.
More than 36,000 people also rely on the industry for work.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture said the quantities of pork vary from individual portions to a few pounds, but are generally all for personal consumption.
He said: & # 39; To give you an idea of the volume, between November 5, 2018 and August 13, 2019, 27 tonnes of pig product were intercepted at all airports and in international mail centers, representing 32,012 passenger items and 2,911 mail items. & # 39;
& # 39; Such items are still intercepted daily. & # 39;
Agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie said the virus could destroy the Australian market if it contaminated local produce.
A 45-year-old Vietnamese woman was sent back after 4.6 kg of raw pork (photo) and other food was found in her suitcase at the Sydney International Airport in October
The Vietnamese woman was the first person to be banned into the country under strict new biosecurity laws (photo: food she tried to smuggle into Australia)
She said the increased measures are designed to protect the 2,700 pork producers in the country.
& # 39; A recent test round showed that nearly 50 percent of pork products seized by air travelers tested positive for African swine fever, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; That's why I have a zero-tolerance approach for those who deliberately do the wrong thing and lie about what they wear. & # 39;
She said: & # 39; If pork virus products pass our border, are eaten by family and friends, and the leftovers fed to pigs, we will be in a world of pain. & # 39;
A total of 80 percent of pigs contracting the disease die and the world has already lost more than a quarter of the population.
The losses can effectively increase the prices of products for consumers.
European and Asian countries are currently experiencing the largest loss.
A Vietnamese woman was sent back to Sydney after trying to bring 4.6 kg of uncooked pork and squid (photo) into the country
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