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Biosecurity officers trained by Australia Biosecurity in use of new airport X-ray machines

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Twenty Biosecurity Solomon Islands officers received specialist biosecurity training to operate new X-ray machines to improve screening for biosecurity risk material.

Located in the international arrivals’ hall in both Honiara and Munda airports and the Solomon Islands, Airlines cargo warehouse. The X-ray machines were gifted to the Solomon Islands by the Australian Border Force and Japan International Cooperation Agency to boost the Solomon Islands’ capacity to protect its borders from biosecurity threats.

The training was provided under the Australian Government and Solomon Islands Biosecurity Development Program.

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Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) requested training assistance from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as they have used this technology effectively for many years.

The training will ensure BSI can use this new equipment to actively screen and detect items of biosecurity concern in travellers’ luggage at the airports. This will provide protection for our country from pests and diseases.

BSI Director Francis Tsatsia said he was thrilled to have the donated X-ray machines installed in the airports.

“The provision of X-ray technology to BSI will support efficient and effective screening of arriving baggage given the heightened risks associated with African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease in neighbouring countries.

“We are grateful to the Australian Government for providing a specialist trainer to teach our staff on how to screen for biosecurity risks.”

The training started on 21 March 2023 for 4 days and it is being conducted by a visiting expert from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The BSI officers were trained to operate and use the X-ray machines ahead of the Pacific Games in November 2023, when many travellers including 24 participating Pacific Island countries are expected to arrive in the Solomon Islands.

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