NAQIA DISPELS MISINFORMATION ON ASF SPREAD


August 01, 2020 - 207 views

Picture and story  by : Cyril Gare

The country’s biosecurity watchdog – National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) has dispelled misinformation that the African Swine Fever (ASF), a deadly viral disease of pigs has spread to other parts of highlands and PNG. 

This information is NOT TRUE! NAQIA wish to inform the people of PNG that as of today, ASF virus is contained and present only in Southern Highlands, Enga and Hela provinces where ASF was initially detected and the provinces were declared “Disease Areas” under the Animal Disease and Control Act – National Gazette Notice No. G202 by Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. John Simon, MP dated March 30, 2020.  

As of today, the lower Highlands region including Western highlands, Jiwaka, Chimbu and Eastern highlands provinces and rest of PNG are NOT affected with ASF virus and therefore remain free of the disease. 

Whilst there have been evidence of spread of the disease in the last 6 months since the incursions, these spreads are predominately occurring within the “declared diseases areas” only and NOT outside of the declared areas. 

There was however, a pocket infection detected in a settlement within the Mt Hagen central area. The case was reported to NAQIA field team who responded and with support from the pig owners and the landowners the infection was effectively contained and eradicated by slaughtering and disposal of the infected pigs. 

No further cases have been reported since and NAQIA is maintaining constant surveillance and monitoring of the area and surrounding areas.  

NAQIA in collaboration with provincial DPI officers, the Police and local communities, have set up road checkpoints at strategic locations in the three provinces and their borders to control pig and pork meat movements. 

It is now about 6 months since NAQIA rolled out an initial emergency response amidst the backdrop of COVID 19 SoE.   

Movements of pig and pork meat within and from SHP, Enga and Hela provinces are totally ban with no exception. 

Against all odds, NAQIA with support of very dedicated group of public servants from provincial administrations, the police and army personnel are doing their utmost best in effectively containing and preventing the spread of ASF from the affected upper Highlands region that otherwise would be destroying the very important source of livelihood of the people of the highlands and rest of PNG. 

NAQIA has in place a work plan for the next 6 months to strategically strengthened control measures at the checkpoints to control movement of live pigs and pork meat in Western highlands/Enga borders, Western highlands/Southern highlands borders and Southern highlands/Hela/Enga borders to protect further spread of ASF to other parts of the country.   

NAQIA is pleading to all highlands provincial administrations and politicians and its good people to please adhere to NAQIA’s control measures in the provinces.  

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Mike, 1 week ago
Thank you