Dr Rundi: Sarawak has sufficient supply of cattle for sacrificial slaughter this Aidiladha

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Dr Rundi said Sarawak needs around 1,500 to 2,000 heads of cattle every year. — Bernama file photo

BINTULU (June 27): The Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development has assured that the supply of cattle for sacrificial slaughter in Sarawak in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha this Thursday is sufficient.

Its Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom in a statement today said Sarawak needs around 1,500 to 2,000 heads of cattle every year.

“This year 1,300 cattle were imported from Australia and 80 cattle from Sabah with the remaining 500 being supplied by local producers,” he said.

These cattle, he said, can be obtained from producers monitored by the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak.

They are Siburan Halal Abattoir; PPES Ternak Sdn Bhd, Serian; Sara Citra Cattle Farm, Kuching; Mayang Cattle Feedlot SALCRA, Serian; Mucow Malaysia Farm, Temudok, Sri Aman; Alam Bumijaya Karabungan, Miri, individual breeders and cattle and oil palm integration.

According to Dr Rundi, his ministry aims to produce 10,000 cattle per year by 2030 to reduce dependence on imports from Australia and Sabah.

“Sarawak cannot import from Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia due to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Sarawak is still recognised as free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) without vaccination by the World Animal Health Organisation,” said Rundi.

He pointed out that due to an increase in the price of cattle of more than 20 per cent, the demand for sacrificial cattle this year has decreased compared to the previous year.

“The increase in the cost of inputs such as food, lack of farm workers, the declining value of the ringgit and the current economic situation also affect the number of sacrificial cows.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the price for cattle weighing 300kg to 350kg was estimated at RM6,000 per cow, but now the price has reached up to RM7,000. For 450kg to 500kg cattle, the price can reach RM10,000 per cow,” said Rundi.

According to him, an application for a slaughter permit exemption can be submitted to the Divisional Veterinary Services office.

For the record, he said last year a total of 1,639 cows, 145 buffaloes and 116 goats were slaughtered.

At the same time, he also reminded the committee in-charge to make sure that the sacrificial animals that are being placed at the mosques, suraus or in the villages, are being treated accordingly besides making sure that the cows are not pregnant.

“I would like to emphasise that the slaughter of cows that are still productive is prohibited. I would like to wish everyone a Happy Eid Al-Adha to all those who celebrate,” he said.