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Federal grant bolsters pork industry biosecurity

ExoFlare has received a $300,000 grant to develop a real-time data driven approach to assessing biosecurity risks in the red meat and pork sectors as the government shows the value of strong and effective biosecurity to protect Australian agriculture.

pig

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said that it was vital to bolster biosecurity to protect Australia’s agricultural sector.

“When it comes to biosecurity, complacency is not an option,'' the Minister said.

“Two of the biggest risks to Australian agriculture are African swine fever and foot and mouth disease. These diseases would be absolutely devastating to the pork and red meat sectors if Australia was to have an outbreak.

“This project will enable biosecurity data from across the pork and red meat supply chains, from producers to raw input suppliers, to be shared and analysed in new ways to improve the detection and management of risks before they can become a problem.

“Eventually, the project could be applied across other sectors as well.

“We know that consumers in Australia and internationally want greater transparency and real time advice about the origin and safety of product in the modern digital marketplace.

“Projects like this, that shore up the safety and reliability of Australian products, will give Aussie exporters the competitive edge.”

ExoFlare founder Adrian Turner said the company was thrilled to receive the grant.

“We are excited that this project will enable us to explore new and secure ways to collect and share biosecurity data across government, academia and industry,'' Mr Turner said.

“So much of the reputation and market access for Australia stems from our status as a clean, disease-free country.

“It’s important that we look at the ways we can protect our industry.”

Australia's largest pig AI program is housed at the SABOR facility in Clare, South Australia. The facility is recognised as critical to the protection of Australia's valued genetics and is a crucial part of the strategy for the Australian port industry to bounce back should there be an ASF outbreak here.

It is estimated an ASF outbreak in Australia would cost the industry in excess of $2 billion over five years.