KOTA KINABALU (Dec 31): The Sabah government has approved the import of 200 tonnes of pork for the upcoming Chinese New Year festival.
Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Chan Foong Hin said this is the only way to resolve the shortage of pork supply in Sabah.
“These pork are not imported as whole pigs but frozen pork products. They are similar to imported packaged beef and lamb products in ordinary supermarkets,” he said during a dinner meeting with representatives from the Sabah Livestock Association on Friday.
Chan, who is also Kota Kinabalu MP, will be meeting with Domestic Trade and Living Costs Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub next week to ensure pork prices do not surge during the Chinese New Year festivities.
Chan said he is also aware of the announcement made by Sandakan sellers that they will be raising the price for commercial whole pigs, and he hopes that they can reconsider to maintain the price at RM20 per kilogram as this was the price labelled during the recent Christmas holiday.
“I acknowledge that majority Sabah pig farmers have been severely affected by the African Swine Flu (ASF) over the last two years. A lot of pig farms have no choice but shut down due to huge losses.
“Unfortunately, until today there is no vaccine to solve this epidemic. If any district or farm has pigs diagnosed with AFS, all pigs in the district would have to be killed and buried. This is a huge loss to farm owners.
Chan clarified that his comments are personal opinions and not issued under the ministry’s capacity.