MIRI, July 21 — The Salak Tinggi Veterinary Public Health Laboratory has yet to release results of samples taken from dead pigs in Buduk Bai, Ba Kelalan last week.
When contacted, Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said as such the department is still unable to confirm if the animals were positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).
“We will release the results next week,” he said.
“My team is now at the site to do awareness, field investigation, surveillance and backyard pig census.”
He was responding to a message that has been widely circulated on WhatsApp since last night claiming that bone samples taken from the dead pigs, which were sent to a laboratory in Kuching on July 13, had tested positive for ASF.
The message also claimed that following the latest development, DVSS would carry out an integrated operation to cull pigs in Ba Kelalan starting July 26.
According to the latest statistics from April, there are 3,243 pigs in Ba Kelalan.
Pig farmer Sinau Selutan, 63, who owned five of the six dead pigs said he started to realise a change in the animals’ appetites about a week before they died.
“I immediately contacted the Lawas DVS when I first realised that my pigs did not want to eat nor drink. Days later, I found that they all died,” he said.
Sinau said he had taken a piece of bone from each of the dead pigs and handed them over to the Lawas DVS to test for AFS.
The sixth pig found dead in Buduk Bui belonged to a pastor serving the community there.
Early this month, five dead pigs were reported in Long Semadoh Rayeh and Long Tanid, amidst growing concern over the spread of AFS in Sabah and in Nunukan and Krayan provinces, North Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Malaysia reported its first AFS outbreak in February this year in Sabah, where about 3,000 pigs were culled to curb the spread of the deadly virus in pigs and wild boar.
On Feb 26, Limbang division was declared an African Swine Fever Disease Control Area (ASFCA) due to its geographic proximity to Sabah.
Kapit and Telang Usan, which are located close to Nunukan and Krayan, have also been declared ASFCA. — Borneo Post Online