KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Singaporeans can finally buy raw pork from Malaysia in local markets, following the island state’s lifting of a 16-year-old ban on imports.
According to Singapore’s Straits Times today, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) recently approved the import of frozen pork from a slaughterhouse in Sarawak, after it assessed the east Malaysian state’s animal and veterinary public health programmes and inspected its pig-farming area and slaughterhouse.
“During our inspections, areas of improvement were highlighted which the slaughterhouse rectified accordingly,” an unnamed spokeswoman form AVA told the daily.
In just three months since February, which was when the first consignment of raw pork from Malaysia arrived in the island state, nine tonnes of frozen pork products have been exported to Singapore.
According to the daily, the ban on the import of live pigs and raw pork from Malaysia was introduced in 1999, after an outbreak of the Nipah virus.
The virus, which is carried by pigs, had killed 100 Malaysian pig farmers and an abattoir worker.
Singapore also started to import frozen pork from Austria and Britain last year.
Its spokesman stressed that the agency will monitor all consignments and take necessary action when there are food-safety lapses.