KUCHING: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak will investigate an allegation by Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen that fresh milk from Peninsular Malaysia is still being sold in supermarkets in the state despite a suspension.
DVS Sarawak will take necessary action against the selling of milk products from FMD infected countries to ensure that Sarawak remains FMD-free.
Its director Dr Adrian Susin Ampud said DVS Sarawak issued a statement to clarify Chong’s allegation.
FMD (Foot and mouth disease) is a viral disease of economic importance that affect all cloven-hoof animals such as cattle, buffalo, pigs, goats, sheeps, deer, and other ungulates, Adrian pointed out.
FMD does not affect poultry and human. It is different from the Hand-Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD) caused by Coxsackievirus.
DVS Sarawak is fully committted to maintaining its FMD-free status granted by World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in May 2004, he added.
“DVS Sarawak will continue to strengthen our enforcement to ensure that milk and milk products imported into the state meet the requirement of import permit,” he said.
“Importation of fresh milk into Sarawak is governed by the Regulations for Importation of a veterinary import permit issued by the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak.”
The documents required for importation of milk or milk products are as follows:
Certificate of Freedom of Country or State from Disease – for the past twelve months prior to and up to the date of export (Foot and Mouth disease, Pestes des pestits ruminants, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow disease), Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia; and Veterinary Health Certificate attesting that the milk and milk products are free from Tuberculosis as well as all the necessary precautions were taken after processing to avoid contact of products with any potential sources of FMD virus.
“The restrictions mentioned above do not apply to the following dairy products: UHT, Yoghurt, milk powder, cheese, butter, cream, ice-cream containing milk, and condensed milk,” Dr Adrian pointed out.