High risk of African Swine Fever if strict, deterrent measures not taken, says Uggah

Uggah (left) and DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin in discussion over the ASF situation.

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KUCHING, Sept 3: Malaysia faces very high risk of African Swine Fever (ASF) if stringent measures are not taken to prevent its spread.

According to Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in a statement, ASF has severely affected the pig industry in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and North and South Korea.

“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has described ASF as one of the most deadly viral diseases affecting the industry. The disease is now reported to be spreading into Eastern European countries.”

Uggah pointed out that the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) has taken several measures to fight the disease.

These included conducting several sessions with stakeholders statewide since August 2019, devising awareness campaigns, and enforcing regulatory measures such as banning the import of pig and pork products from affected countries.

“We also discourage small-time farmers from feeding kitchen waste to their pigs,” Uggah disclosed.

“The state has about 30,000 sows producing about 402,000 porkers annually worth RM4OO million. It is the DVSS’ responsibility to ensure the state continues to be free of ASF.

“The Regulatory Division of DVSS will continue to enforce the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure pork and pork products are only imported from ASF-free countries. All imports must have import permits. Those caught smuggling pork and pork products will be severely dealt with,” he warned.

“To-date, the DVSS has confiscated 126kg of pork and pork products at Kuching International Airport.

“I thus would appeal to the public to continue to give us their fullest support and co-operation in ensuring our state will continue to be free of ASF in order to protect our pig population. This way, the consumers can be assured of a continuing supply of pork and pork products as well,” he said. — DayakDaily