By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Jan 17: To ensure pork safety, the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will stop the slaughtering of pigs from unlicensed pig farms at its abattoir at Jalan Ding Nik Kong, Sibu, from Jan 19.
SMC chairman Clarence Ting said some farms in the eastern side of Sibu, nearer to Meradong, were already affected by African Swine Flu (ASF), but not all farms in the Sibu district are affected.
He said in Sibu that licensed farms inspected by the Veterinary Department continue to conduct business as usual.
“Licensed farms can continue to sell pigs. But from today, the Veterinary Department would not vouch for unlicensed farms as they could not inspect those farms.
“For SMC, starting from Jan 19, we will ban pigs from unlicensed farms and will only slaughter the ones from licensed farms,” Ting told DayakDaily over a telephone conversation.
To state its stance, SMC released a press statement.
“In news of the occurrence of ASF, SMC would like to temporarily stop receiving pigs from unlicensed farms to enter and slaughter at the council’s abattoirs at Jalan Ding Lik Kong, Sibu, starting from January 19, 2022 (Wednesday) until the Veterinary Department reviews and comes up with a solution on the situation in Sibu.
“In the meantime, SMC would like to seek the Veterinary Department’s assistance to check on unlicensed pig farms to verify the health status of the pigs.
“SMC is committed to ensuring the pigs slaughtered at the abattoir are safe for consumption,” said the press statement.
Ting said currently, due to public scare towards the possibility of consuming pork from infected pigs, many pork stalls in Sibu Central Market have temporarily stopped their business operation given the low demand.
Licensed pig farms are registered with the Veterinary Department, while backyard or unlicensed pig farms are not registered with the department.
On Jan 10, Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, in a press statement, informed the public that ASF was detected in three backyard farms in Durin in the Sibu Division.
The disease, he said, would lead to severe economic losses to local farmers and impact food security. The virus, however, is not harmful to humans, and it is not a zoonotic disease, which means that it will not spread from animals to humans.
However, according to Dr Rundi, as the ASF virus is highly contagious, any farm with confirmed ASF cases will be sealed and quarantined. All the pigs will be culled, the farm depopulated, and the carcasses disposed of by burial on site. — DayakDaily