Australia’s biosecurity could be strengthened by the delivery of a national reporting scheme for the pork industry.
The move brings the pork industry in line with the cattle, sheep and goat industries, according to experts.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud welcomed mandatory reporting of all pig movements under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), which will be introduced by all state and territory governments this week.
“Strong traceability is a key part of a strong biosecurity system,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The NLIS for pork, known as PigPass, uses ear tags or tattoos to identify animals. All pig movements onto farms, saleyards, showgrounds and abattoirs are documented in a database using a National Vendor Declaration. This database is used by state and territory governments to trace livestock in an emergency.
“Pigpass means animals can be identified quickly and allows the property of birth and residence to be easily located if there were ever a food safety issue or exotic disease outbreak.
“This would be important if Australia had say a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak—it would help find the source of disease and stop its spread."
Littleproud said PigPass would help Australia keep its reputation for delivering high-quality and safe produce.
“The pork industry is worth more than $1.3 billion, with over 1400 pork farms across the nation," he said.
"I encourage farmers and processors to familiarise themselves with PigPass.”
Did you know? Australia exported $124 million worth of pig meat exports in 2016–17.