2 Oct 2004

PNG chief vet bans pig transport in two provinces

7:34 am on 2 October 2004

A ban has reportedly been imposed on transporting pigs from the Western and West Sepik provinces in Papua New Guinea.

It comes as an outbreak of disease has left more than 2,500 animals dead in recent weeks.

The National newspaper reports that no pig or pork can be taken out of the two provinces that border Indonesia.

The Chief Veterinarian, Doctor Ilagi Puana, made an on-the-spot decision during a visit to Kiunga in Western province with some Australian officers.

Doctor Puana hasn't yet identified the disease - but he suspects it to be Swine Fever, which is also known as Hog Cholera.

The National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority says airline operators in Western and West Sepik provinces have been notified.

They have advised that affected pigs could still be safely consumed but the meat must be properly cooked.

Although people have been told to boil the meat instead of cooking it over a fire.