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Fiji Free From African Swine Fever: Reddy

The Ministry of Agriculture is closely monitoring the situation and working in consultation with commercial piggery farms in Fiji and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) to prevent the importation of contaminants through pork products and farm supplies.
25 Nov 2020 16:56
Fiji Free From African Swine Fever: Reddy

Fiji remains free from both African Swine Fever and Swine Flu.

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy urged the public not to panic as Fiji has very stringent control mechanisms and are taking all necessary and proactive steps in stopping the introduction of this disease in Fiji.

He assured that the Ministry of Agriculture is working in close collaboration with line agencies and partners to ensure the local livestock industry always remains safe.

In a statement, the Ministry said the African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs. In its acute form, the disease generally results in high mortality of pigs. ASF is a different disease to swine flu, which is a respiratory disease of pigs and is caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs.

African Swine Fever does not affect people and there is no impact on human health.

Currently, the only country in the Pacific to have reported cases of African Swine Fever is Papua New Guinea.

Relevant authorities in Fiji are taking all necessary steps to prevent any inadvertent introduction of the disease in Fiji, through strict control of pork products and pig farming supplies into the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture is closely monitoring the situation and working in consultation with commercial piggery farms in Fiji and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) to prevent the importation of contaminants through pork products and farm supplies.

The Ministry of Agriculture has consistently monitored endemic and exotic animal diseases through its surveillance programs. For pigs, annual surveillance includes pseudorabies, foot and mouth disease, swine flu, and most recently, passive surveillance on African swine fever. At this stage, there are no reports
from any of our local pig farmers that indicates the presence of swine flu or African swine fever.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed 5-days ago between the BAF and PHAMA Plus Programme, aimed to strengthen Fiji’s preparedness against the possible incursion of African Swine Fever in the country.

Implementation of this programme will also involve their close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that awareness and surveillance activities reach down to the farmer level.

The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to conduct annual screening of exotic diseases and monitoring of endemic diseases in the rural and urban communities of Fiji.

The Ministry will also continue developing the capacity of the Fiji Veterinary Pathology Unit for the early detection of animal diseases of economic and public health importance.

Fiji’s main weapon against ASF and other exotic diseases is very stringent monitoring and border control.

In terms of preparedness, awareness and continuous development of laboratory diagnostic capacity, together with the strengthening of the country’s veterinary capability is an ongoing activity for the Ministry of Agriculture.

 


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