Breeder: Pig farms in S’wak built in 70s, 80s; not equipped with biosecurity system to combat ASF

Dr Ng Siew Thiam

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, May 14: Green Breeder Sdn Bhd director Ng Siew Thiam is of the opinion that local pig farmers could not apprehend the spread of African Swine fever (ASF) due to the lack of a biosecurity system to stop the disease from spreading, seeing as their farms were built in the 1970s or 1980s.

“When their farms were built back then, it did not have any biosecurity system in place as they did not anticipate the rate of the disease’s outbreak,” he said.


He added that the pig farming industry in Sarawak almost came to a standstill in 2019 as industry players were affected by the culling of millions of pigs due to ASF, which was made worse as currently, there is no known vaccine for it.

“During the spread of ASF, every farmer had to go to the same abattoir that did not have disinfection and isolation facilities. Without such facilities, when the disease spreads, it does so quickly,” he said to DayakDaily.

Ng elaborated that the impact of ASF on the industry was devastating as it lost millions of ringgit, and with livestock perished or culled, it had a huge psychological effect on local farmers.

Ng, who is also a veterinarian, said since the virus is already in the State, the only way for pig farmers to curb the virus from spreading is to have a strict biosecurity system and infrastructure in place.

“Despite not being harmful to humans, the disease could also spread through contaminated processed pork products. So, be careful when you buy imported processed meat and while discarding the used packet,” he said.

Ng stressed that ASF has been around for hundreds of years, and since its discovery in the 19th century, there has been no vaccine to curb its spread.

Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud, when contacted, commented that to prevent ASF from spreading, farmers must adopt a new system of farming in the future and take biosecurity seriously.

“ASF is a disease which has no vaccine, and as of now, it is important to ensure adherence to strict biosecurity,” he said.

Dr Adrian Susin Ambud

Susin added there are three levels of biosecurity to be adhered to: strict movements of people and strict movements of animals, and animal feed must be manufactured inside the farm.

He also commended how Green Breeder Sdn Bhd and one or two in isolated areas were able to survive ASF. — DayakDaily