Sarawak remains free of African Swine Fever due to stringent measures, says DCM

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said Sarawak has remained free of the African Swine Fever (ASF) due to the stringent measures taken by the state Veterinary Services Department. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said Sarawak has remained free of the African Swine Fever (ASF) due to the stringent measures taken by the state Veterinary Services Department. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Sept 3 — Sarawak has remained free of the African Swine Fever (ASF) due to the stringent measures taken by the state Veterinary Services Department (VSD), Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

He said the measures include enforcing the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure that imported pork products are from countries free of ASF.

“As of today, we have confiscated 126kg of pork and pork products at Kuching International Airport (KIA) brought by travellers,” Uggah, who is also the state disaster management committee chairman said after chairing a meeting here.

He said VSD had also issued compounds to pork product importers at Senari Port for breaching import-export conditions with various violations of the ordinance.

“However, of utmost importance is the awareness of the people of Sarawak towards the measures being taken to protect our pig population from the disease in order to ensure continued supply to the consumers,” he added.

He said VSD has conducted several sessions with the stakeholders and multi-corporations throughout Sarawak, regarding ASF, last month.

He said more awareness campaign and regulatory measures are being enforced to ensure the virus does not enter the state.

“Ban on the swill feeding are among steps taken while the relocation of the individual pig farm to the designated Pig Farming Area will be continued,” he added.

Uggah, who is also the state Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the state has about 30,000 sow population producing about 402,000 porkers’ annually, worth about RM400 million.

“It is the VSD’s responsibility to ensure the state continues to be free from the deadly disease which is also regarded a disease of economic importance,” he said.

Uggah noted that ASF has severely hit the pig production in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and North and South Korea.

He said Malaysia is at high risk if control measures are not taken properly to prevent the spread of disease.

“Outbreaks are also occurring in Eastern Europe – Belgium, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia,” he said, adding that in China it has been reported that up to 200 million pigs had been culled or had died due to the disease.

He said pork output in China has fallen by 30 per cent.

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