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African Swine Fever on the raise in PNG's Upper Highlands

The African Swine Fever (ASF) is spreading very quickly in the upper highlands in Papua New Guinea .
And the country's bio-security watchdog NAQIA, is in urgent need of funding support to beef up its bio-security measures to contain its spread.

In a media briefing today, NAQIA's Managing Director Joel Alu says initially the virus was found only in Mendi after pigs were dying in large numbers.
Now, Mr Alu says it's spreading to the eastern part of Southern highlands and into Enga and Magarima in Hela.
And while NAQIA's animal health experts are on ground working around the clock and setting up bio-security check points, they are in need of funding support.
According to Mr Alu, NAQIA has already drained out K2 billion of its own funding to address the African Swine Fever by sacrificing staff salary, fuel, rentals and other of its operational costs.
Cabinet on the 08th of April has approved K2.3 million towards ASF incursion in the country, however, till now it has not yet released any money to NAQIA.
Mr Alu was also disappointed that the Southern Highlands Provincial Government has not provided any form of financial support to assist NAQIA address this issue in the province.
He called on the government for the release of at least some amount of the approved K2.3 million.
Mr Alu says the political leadership in the country must see bio-security as an important issue, because if not managed properly will lead to major food security issues in the country.

FM100/PNG Today

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