| PNG Today
PORT MORESBY - The multi-million pork industry in PNG is under threat with the African swine fever now in the country.
The swine fever is a virus which causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs, killing pigs in large numbers as quickly as a week after infection.
It’s believed the disease was carried by various means, including imported canned food.
The Southern Highlands and neighbouring Enga and Hela provinces have been declared disease areas as a containment measure to stop the disease spreading to other highlands provinces and the coast.
The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister John Simon amidst efforts by the PNG government to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The swine fever was suspected when 336 pigs in Mendi died in February. Samples taken by an investigation team were sent to Australia and results found to be positive.
PNG had been on red alert to prevent the African swine flu entering the country.
Mr Simon said while efforts were made to put in place stringent measures, the emergence of swine flu in Mendi, came as a surprise.
People in the three provinces have been urged not to eat dead pigs or to bring pigs or pig meat from one province to another.
Although the virus is not a public health threat, it will greatly affect people who depend on pigs as a source of food and income as well as the whole pork industry in PNG.