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FMD Report Alarms Australian Pork Industry

24 November 2011

AUSTRALIA - A review of Australia's preparation for foot and mouth disease has found an outbreak might not be detected early and could spread quickly.

The Agriculture Department review finds authorities could be overwhelmed, as they try to slaughter and bury diseased livestock.

The report by Ken Matthews has alarmed the pig industry, by revealing that illegal meat from South Korea was detected by quarantine officials last year.

Australian Pork Limited (APL) is particularly concerned that last year AQIS found illegal meat and animal products from South Korea, when that country had extensive foot and mouth disease.

The detection was not reported to the pig industry, which says this is the first time it's heard of the issue.

"We're in shock reading the Matthews report," said Andrew Spencer, chief executive of Australian Pork Limited.

"It mentions a long-term smuggling operation bringing pig meat into Australia operating from South Korea, which at the time had foot and mouth disease.

"We had no idea of any investigation.

"My confidence in AQIS being able to effectively carry out their responsibilities around protecting the health of our livestock industries is flowing out my office door."

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Source: ABC


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