Updated: 06/25/2014 21:06

AVA keeping Singapore free of anImal diseases

AVA keeping Singapore free of anImal diseases

The World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE, has just certified Singapore as being free of two animal diseases - Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia and Peste des petits ruminants. 

Both are highly contagious diseases which can affect animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. 

This comes on top of Singapore already being recognised by OIE as free from other animal diseases, such as Rabies, Foot and Mouth Disease and African Horse Sickness. 

In a blog post, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, says these are serious animal diseases as they can devastate the livestock industry. 

He adds that although Singapore does not have a large livestock industry, it has a significant transhipment and re-export market. 

And being free from such animal diseases is a big plus. 

Some of these animal diseases can jump species and pose an infection risk to humans. 

This is why Mr Khaw says Singapore maintain high veterinary standards, stay alert to disease outbreaks elsewhere and act on them, when necessary. 

In February, Singapore suspended pork imports from Poland due to detections of African Swine Fever there. 

It's one of the most complex and devastating animal diseases, with no vaccine or treatment available. 

As Asia is free from ASF, Mr Khaw says pigs in the region do not have protective antibodies. 

If introduced, the disease could spread rapidly through pig populations with huge socio-economic impact. 

Mr Khaw says the Polish authorities have acted swiftly to contain the outbreak and have been keeping Singapore informed through regular updates. 

He says the Agri Food and Veterinary Authority is working closely with them on a regionalisation approach, to allow for trade to resume from unaffected regions of the country. 

The Minister says Singapore's monitoring the situation closely and keeping abreast of international discussions to implement the best measures to safeguard its food security and animal health status.

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