KOTA KINABALU, Jan 20 ― Sabah has been hit with another outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) with less than two weeks to Chinese New Year — this time in the district of Penampang.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said the virus was first detected last December 14.
“The disease has spread to five villages in Inobong, Sugud and Koidupan.
“The cases involved a total of 229 backyard pigs owned by six different owners. The loss is estimated to be as high as RM115,000,” he said in a statement today.
Penamping is the 20th district in the state to come down with the highly contagious viral disease that is deadly to pigs but poses no threat to human health.
Kitingan, who is also the state agriculture and fisheries minister, said Penampang has two commercial pig farms with an estimated 2,900 pigs.
In order to prevent the virus from spreading to nearby districts, the ministry through the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) will conduct awareness campaigns in the Penampang district to ensure that the people are well-informed about ASF.
The department will also monitor and control the movement of pigs and pork products to ensure that none leave Penampang for the time being.
Kitingan assured consumers that there will be enough pork supply for the upcoming Chinese New Year festival, which falls on February 1 this year.
“The government is aware of the people’s anxiety particularly as the Chinese New Year is just around the corner.
“However, we remain optimistic that pork supply in Sabah will be sufficient to meet demand,” he said.
Since the ASF outbreak was first declared last year, 10 Sabah districts have been declared ASF-free after 60 days have passed since the last case was reported.
These districts are Kota Marudu, Pitas, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Beluran, Telupid, Tongod, Tawau, Lahad Datu, and Semporna.