SFC clamps down on sale of wild meat in wet markets, logging areas

SFC to clamp down on sale of wild meat in wet markets, logging areas

KUCHING, Feb 23: Even though no death involving bearded pigs had been reported in the State, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) resolved to scale-up enforcement to clamp down on the commercial sale of wild meat in wet markets, illegal wild meat sale hotspots and logging areas throughout Sarawak.

SFC chief executive officer (CEO) and Controller of Wild Life Zolkipli Mohamad Aton emphasised this in a statement today following Sarawak’s ban of importation of pig, pork and pork products from Sabah after some pig samples tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).

SFC thus supported the decision of the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native land and Regional Development (Manred) in order to protect the domestic pig industry due to its economic importance to Sarawak.


“In discussions with DVSS (Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak), it became clear that SFC has to help DVSS in terms of alerts of any reported bearded pig deaths.

“Thankfully, to date, we have not had any reported mass deaths of bearded pigs in Sarawak.

“However, we will maintain our heightened vigilance as ASF has been reported in northern Sabah,” he said in a statement today.

Concerned about the potential spread of ASF into the bearded population in the State, Zolkipli reiterated that SFC will play its part to ensure that the disease will not spread and affect the commercial pig industry in Sarawak especially via illegal wildlife trade.

He noted that the fear of a spread from the wild towards the commercial pig industry had prompted the Sabah Wildlife Department to issue a statement on zero hunting of wild bearded pigs.

“Similarly like Sabah, one of the ways to prevent ASF from heading into the wild is to clamp down on illegal trading of bearded pigs in markets in Sarawak.

“This is due to the fear of potential of ASF in the wild population making its way into the commercial domestic pig markets via hunters, wet markets and illegal wildlife trade,” he stressed.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Zolkipli noted that in uncontrolled situations in Europe and various places around the world, the presence of ASF virus in a ‘wild boar habitat cycle’ presented a serious challenge for the pig production sector and wildlife management authorities.

“ASF has become resident in wild pigs over a large area and now pose a major threat to the European pig production sector,” he added.

Zolkipli warned that it was illegal to conduct commercial sale of wildlife under Section 33 of the Wild Life Protection Ordinance (WLPO) 1998,

Any person found to have contravened this section is liable for a fine of RM5,000 and any person who abets the illegal sale by purchasing the wildlife is also liable for a fine of RM2,000 (under Section 34 of the WLPO).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas yesterday (Feb 22) informed of a report that eight out of 13 pig samples from Pitas, Sabah were positive of ASF.

While Sarawak was still free from the disease, he urged the public not to buy or bring any pork and pork products from Sabah or any neighbouring countries.

Uggah said that the DVSS would also tighten biosecurity measures in Sarawak especially Limbang Division and intensify ASF disease surveillance throughout the State. — DayakDaily