The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MALD) is awaiting advise from the AG chambers to proceed with fresh regulations to ban all pork imports into the country.
This is in response to a viral disease that spreads rapidly in pig herds known as African Swine Flu (ASF). ASF is highly infectious with a 100% mortality rate in pigs, though no known threat to humans.
"MALD is taking serious steps to prevent the intrusion of the African Swine Flu (ASF) into our shores as there is no vaccine or cure for this virus," the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in a prepared statement.
"Countries affected by ASF controlled the spread of the virus through quarantine and culling. Such exercise is too expensive for Solomon Islands and may well destroy our piggery industry.
"MALD therefore has decided to implement tough measures including the total ban on all imported pork and pork products. Though this measure is seen to be too harsh for businesses in the country who are engaged with importing of pork products, protection of our domestic livestock remains paramount to the DCGA government."
Government says that the tough stance can be the boost that the domestic piggery farmers need to increase the supply of local pork products in the domestic market.
"This is an excellent opportunity for our domestic farmers to increase their production to offset the short fall in the supply of pork products in our country," the statement reads.
Press Release: OPMC