Australia - Test results to shed light on pig disease

Date of publication : 7/7/2005
Source : ABC News
Test results expected in the next two days will determine whether the pig disease, post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), has entered Australia. PMWS has not been seen in Australia before, but post-mortem test results from two piggeries in South Australia and New South Wales have sparked an investigation by veterinary authorities. The move comes after Australian Pork Limited took Federal Court action, to try to stop pork imports claiming they were a disease risk. The director of quarantine is appealing against the court's order, banning new import permits. But Australia's chief veterinary officer, Dr Gardner Murray, says pork and pork products remain safe to eat. "The issue really isn't one of immediacy, the disease isn't a rapidly spreading disease like foot-and-mouth disease," Dr Murray said. "It moves rather slowly, and the fact that the herds are under movement restrictions means that we have time to consider, in the most comprehensive way, the particular aspects of a potential disease." New South Wales pork producer Dougald Walker says if the herds are found to have PMWS, the Government should be held responsible. "I have been at total loss to fathom out any logic behind the things that the government have done to the pig industry over a pretty long period," Mr Walker said. "It is just impossible to understand."
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