KUCHING, Nov 4 — Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah today refuted recent claims by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad that there was an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the state.
“What happened was that there was one sample out of 17 canned luncheon pork imported from China tested positive for DNA of ASF virus on 25 October during a laboratory test using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (q-PCR).
“The detection of the DNA virus in the canned luncheon pork does not change the status that Sarawak is free of ASF,” Uggah, who is also the state disaster management committee chairman, said.
He said the state has enforced stringent regulations regarding the import of all pork and pork products from ASF-infected countries from China.
He said most of the affected product brand 168 has been removed from the shelves of supermarkets and sundry shops, adding that the state Veterinary Services Department had confiscated 220kg of animal products at the entry points brought by travellers.
Uggah, who is also the state Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said compounds were also issued to food importers for various violations of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 at seaports.
He said the Veterinary Services Department has been conducted several sessions with the stakeholders in August 2019 throughout Sarawak, and multi-agency corporation regarding ASF.
He said it will strengthen its awareness campaign and regulatory measures to ensure the virus does not enter the state, including enforcing the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure that pork and pork products are imported are from countries free from ASF.