The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) supports the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthen
biosecurity enforcement at Australia’s borders and encourages further investment in public awareness
campaigns and biosecurity controls given the devastating outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) occurring
“African swine fever is on Australia’s doorstep, less than 700km from our boarder in East Timor. It is a highly
infectious, contagious and fatal pig disease without any vaccines or treatment and it has already killed
hundreds of millions of pigs in Asia,” said Mr Tim Kingma, VFF Pig Group President.
“If ASF entered Australia, it would be absolutely devastating to our vibrant $1 billion pork industry. It would
threaten the lives of millions of Australian pigs and the livelihoods of Australia’s pork producers.
“It is absolutely critical that we maintain the strictest biosecurity controls at our borders. The Federal
Government is stepping-up biosecurity controls in our international airports; including spot checks of
travellers from disease-affected countries and biosecurity detector dogs.
“To protect Australia’s food security, we encourage higher penalties and stringent enforcement for travellers
attempting to smuggle in any banned agricultural products. We also need domestic and international public
awareness campaigns targeted at high-risk travellers.
“We have witnessed firsthand around the globe the catastrophic impact of pests and diseases on agricultural
industries, including foot-and-mouth disease, avian influenza, white-spot disease on prawns, and the equine
“Investing in the most advanced technologies, training staff, and educating travellers will help defend against
disease, and it will protect all of our agricultural industries, native ecosystems, and human health against the
myriad of diseases that threaten us now and into the future,” said Mr Kingma.
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589
About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a
positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our
members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social
licence in a community that respects and values the sector.