- Andrea GantzAustralian Pork Limited fears PED virus could reach the country if trade rules are relaxed for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Australian Pork Limited (APL) is worried that the health of Australian pigs may be compromised if its government begins to accept fresh pork from the United States under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which is currently being negotiated.
Presently, Australia currently imports pork for smallgoods, such as bacon, but fresh pork cuts from the U.S. are not allowed because they can carry diseases such as porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, which has killed millions of piglets in the U.S. since it was first discovered in the country in 2013.
APL spokeswoman Deb Kerr said the producer-owned organization that supports and promotes the Australian pork industry is worried that the Australian government is getting pressure from the U.S. to relax its biosecurity protocols.
"Our pig herd is a closed herd, and if those sorts of diseases got into Australia, then it could absolutely devastate our herd in Australia," she said.
Kerr said she also feels like Australia’s biosecurity protocols are also being targeted by European countries.
"These protocols or these rules, if you like, are in place because of science. Science has told us that they are appropriate and that they are robust and we support the Australian government's position on that," said Kerr.