Australian pig farmers in the state of Victoria have accused the Department of Primary Industries of mishandling the recent outbreak of pandemic influenza A (H1N1).
The farmers are angry that the DPI broke its own animal welfare standards when testing pigs for the virus at an outbreak site earlier this year.
The President of the Victorian Farmers Federation’s pig group, John Bourke, says the DPI did not allow its own specialised pig vet to be part of quarantine process.
“To exclude a well-known veterinarian and having another qualified vet that has no pig experience, he’s wandering around in the dark,” Mr Bourke says.
The DPI deputy chief vet, Dr Andrew Cameron, says the department’s vets are well trained, and he had unaware until now of the pig farmers’ concerns.