PUTRAJAYA, Jan 17 — Another 3,000 pigs out of the 16,000 at 19 farms in Paya Mengkuang, Masjid Tanah, Melaka will be culled by the end of this week to prevent the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) in the area.
Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) director-general, Datuk Dr Norlizan Mohd Noor said the ASF virus was first detected in Paya Mengkuang at the end of last month and within two weeks, 19 of the 35 pig farms in the area were confirmed to have been infected by the highly contagious virus.
“(We are) forced to cull the pigs as we have a stamping-out policy, meaning, any pig at an enclosure or farm confirmed to be positive for the ASF virus has to be destroyed,” he said, adding that until yesterday, 13,000 pigs were culled under the Animal Welfare Practice Code-Animal Disposal Management by using a high concentration of CO2 gas.
“The culling programme is not easy as we have to obtain the laboratory’s confirmation of the disease, agreement of the pig owners and logistics to transport, cull and bury these pigs.”
He said this at a webinar media conference here today on the enforcement action taken by the DVS under the Animal Welfare Act 2015 which could still control the spread of ASF.
“We have also activated the surveillance programmes and clinical examinations not only in Paya Mengkuang but also at the pig farms across the country so as to curb the ASF viral infection from Paya Mengkuang to other areas.
“Any pig enclosure with the virus will involve a high number of fatalities of up to 100 per cent if no immediate culling of the animal is done,” he said, adding that the clinical sign of infection was redness at the animal’s ears, hooves, belly and chest.
“The public should not panic as the ASF does not spread to humans while the pork supply for the Chinese New Year celebration early next month will not be affected as Malaysia has a total of 456 pig farms with the total number of the animal at 1.4 million,” he said. — Bernama