Port Moresby, 19th May 2021 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) collaborated with the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority and PHAMA Plus to facilitate a Stock Inspector Training in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province for Provincial and District Livestock Officers from Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces as part of capacity building in combating the fatal African Swine fever (ASF).
It is exactly one year since the first confirmation of ASF in Mendi-Munihu in SHP.
Infected Provinces has increased to five with the inclusion of WHP and Jiwaka. A point infection was identified in Chuave District of Simbu Province, however, it was reported that the infection had been contained.
A check point is planned to be established in Kerowagi District to try to control infection spreading down to EHP and Morobe Province.
As part of the strategy to contain the spread of the ASF, biosecurity officers have commenced consultation with
provincial and local-level governments, to enforce By-Laws ensuring that pigs in communities are kept in enclosed areas.
The aim Stock Inspector training was for the Provincial and District Livestock Officers to understand the roles, responsibilities and legal powers as Stock Inspectors, particularly how this role fits into the current ASF response plans to control and contain the spread of the deadly pig disease in the Highlands Region.
The training also included; topics such as; Diagnosis of the ASF virus, Animal Health and Welfare, Monitoring and Reporting systems as well as Biosecurity practises.
The participants will be Gazetted by the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) as trained Stock Inspectors for their respective districts and Provinces.
On the occasion of the event, the newly appointed Provincial Administrator, Mr. Jerry David Sonk thanked FAO and collaborating partners; NAQIA and PHAMA Plus in facilitating trainings for Southern Highlands and Hela Province.
He further reiterated the need for continuous partnerships and capacity building trainings for emerging diseases such as ASF and Fall armyworm pest.
The provincial government under his leadership is committed to support such initiatives.
FAO National Technical Advisor, Ms. Paula Pupune congratulated participants on the successful completion of the training and said, “FAO PNG will continue to support in capacity building for partners and farmers in the fight against ASF.
ASF is threatening our way of living by affecting our pig population, hence, we need to fight together to combat this deadly virus.”