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Pork crisis means local boom

WA PORK producers may soon see an improvement in pork prices.

The local industry has been suffering from decreased domestic demand and pressure from overseas imports.

However, an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis that has caused considerable harm to Malaysia’s pig industry could prove a boon for WA.

The state’s leading pig processor, Watsons Foods, has sent more than 20 tonnes of pork a week to Singapore for the last fortnight.

Malaysia supplies an estimated one million pigs a year to Singapore and consumes about the same number in the domestic market.

Watsons general manager Geoff Brown said the company was supplying sides of fresh pork to Singapore to satisfy urgent orders since the Malaysian crisis began.

Since becoming Australia’s first pork abattoir and processor to be export accredited under the Federal Government’s Enhance Meat Safety Program, Watsons has exported increasing quantities of WA pork into south-east Asia.

Mr Brown said WA’s pigs were among the healthiest in the world.

“This is largely due to very strict quarantine controls on importation of animals and animal products coupled with very competent veterinary and inspection services,” he said.

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