Wednesday, October 16

Public awareness on measures taken to protect pigs from ASF important – Uggah

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Uggah (left) holding a discussion with Dr Adrian today.

KUCHING: Public awareness towards the measures being taken to protect pig population from the African Swine Fever (ASF) is of utmost importance, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) had conducted several dialogue sessions on ASF with the stake holders and multi-corporations throughout Sarawak in August.

“More awareness campaign and regulatory measures are being thought of or are being enforced  to ensure the virus does not enter the States. Ban on the swill feeding are among steps taken while the  relocation of the individual pig farm to the designated Pig Farming Area will be continued,” said Uggah said in a press statement after holding a discussion with DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud today.

In noting that it was the DVSS’ responsibility to ensure the state continue to be free from deadly disease which was also regarded a ‘disease of economic importance’, Uggah said the Regulatory Division of DVSS would continue to enforce the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure pork and pork products imported were from countries free from ASF.

“All imports must have the import permit and smugglers will be severely dealt with if caught,” he added.

To date, Uggah said the authorities had confiscated 126 kilogrammes (kg) of pork and pork products at from travellers at Kuching International Airport (KIA).

He also said the compounds were issued at Senari Port due to the contradiction of import export conditions with various violation of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.

“The ASF has severely hit  the pig production in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and North and South Korea.

“Our country Malaysia is at a very high risk if control measures are not taken properly to prevent the spread of disease. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has described ASF as one of the most severe viral diseases affecting the pig industry,”

Outbreaks were also occurring in Eastern Europe – Belgium, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia, Uggah said.

“In China it has been reported that up to 200 million pigs had been culled or had died due to the disease. Pork output has fallen by 30 per cent.”

Uggah said Sarawak had about 30,000 sow population producing about 402,000 porkers’ annually worth about RM400 million.