Biosecurity fears prompt pig ban at the 2022 Melbourne Royal Show
· The decision to ban pigs has been supported by a show veterinarian
· Foot mats will be installed to help reduce the threat of any disease spread
· The Melbourne event is the only royal show to have banned a livestock species this year
By Peter Somerville and Luke Radford, ABC Rural Australia
Sep 14, 2022
Melbourne Royal Show organisers have banned pigs from this year's event because the animals are considered to have a higher risk of harbouring and spreading exotic diseases.
While other royal shows have introduced similar control measures, the Melbourne event is the first to introduce a mandatory ban on a livestock species.
Rob Bonanno is a vet with Apiam Animal Health — the company providing vets for this year's show — and said he fully supported the move.
He said it was a "tough decision" but pigs were "amplifiers of the foot-and-mouth (FMD) virus".
"I think that's a really sensible precaution, because of the slightly heightened risk," Dr Bonanno said.
"I think that they're … taking really good steps to take what is a very, very small risk and make it even smaller."
While the ABC understands pigs have not been exhibited at the Melbourne Royal Show for many years, they have been on display in the children's petting nursery.
Dr Bonanno said organisers would also provide foot mats at the entry of the nursery and livestock pavilion.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) said the ban on pigs was also made with consideration of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)...