With the National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority rolling out a massive media campaign in the hopes that pig farmers across the country and in rural areas, can be able to assist in containing the outbreak of African Swine Fever, new information has emerged that China, the worlds largest pig farming industry, has detected a new pig virus, that could potentially be fatal to humans.
On Monday, June 29th, members of the National Agricultural Quarantine Inspection authority presented a media response package, targeted at sending out relevant information on the care of pigs in the country which is being rolled out presently.
Of concern has been the number of pig deaths that have been occurring in the highlands region of Papua New Guinea, which has the potential to affect the local economy with pigs seen as a commodity and sign of wealth.
And while PNG is in its process of working toward containment of the disease, researchers in China have detected a G4” strain of H1N1 that has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.
Ilagi Puana, NAQIA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, in a response to EMTV’s query on this, says that NAQIA is aware, and is in contact with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for further details of the virus and its spread. The Swine Flu is a flu-like disease of pigs and can affect humans. It has the potential to become pandemic.
China is regarded as the world’s pig farm, with its piggery industry the largest in the world and It has had its exports hurt in an economic trade war with the United States, which has had a direct impact on its pig farmers. And after the spread of the coronavirus, a further biological issue within its livestock has the potential to do more damage to China, and PNG as a trade partner.
For Papua New Guinea, at present, the focus is domestic, with African Swine Fever causing the deaths of thousands of pigs in Enga, The Southern Highlands, and Hela provinces.
NAQIA has its hopes of eradicating African Swine Fever.
By Jeremy Mogi – EMTV News, Port Moresby