By GYNNIE KERO
THE National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (Naqia) needs to have an X-ray machine for screening operations and to quarantine vessels and dogs arriving in the country, its acting managing director Joel Alu says.
“These are needed for Naqia’s long-term effective enforcement,” he said when outlining Naqia’s way to forward Papua New Guinea’s biosecurity issues.
Addressing a media conference at Naqia’s 6-Mile office in Port Moresby, Alu said: “We will be working on a quarantine wharf for livestock in Central’s Roku.
“Other issues of national concern include the African Swine Flu (ASF) virus, the coffee berry borer and the Bogia coconut syndrome.
“Papua New Guinea is on high alert for the ASF virus that is deadly to pigs.
“The Bogia coconut syndrome or ‘phytoplasma’ found in coconut palms is a plant disease spread by insects.
“It has killed hundreds of coconut palms in Madang.”
He said intensive awareness and enhanced biosecurity protocols would be implemented at borders.
“We have begun instituting measures to raise awareness on ASF, pork and pork products.”
The National Court had yesterday ruled in favour of Alu, reinforcing a Dec 24 lower court decision that Alu is the legitimate Naqia managing director.
This also means that the appointment of Warea Orapa in place of Alu and the involvement of Agriculture and Livestock Department secretary Daniel Kombuk in the affairs of Naqia are now restrained until further legal development.
By GYNNIE KERO