KUCHING: DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has called for more clarity on the status of African Swine Fever (ASF) disease control measures in Sarawak.
The Stampin MP, in a statement today, also urged the state government to provide aid to pig farmers badly affected by the disease.
“Despite repeated claims by the Sarawak government that the ASF disease was under control, it seems that the disease is actually out of control,” he said.
Chong noted that in July 2021, the ASF disease was first discovered in the Limbang, Kapit, and Miri divisions.
“The state government claimed that it was under control and that the disease would be contained in the affected areas only.
“However, in January 2022, the ASF disease was found in Sibu. Again, the state government claimed that it is under control and later in April, Serian and Sri Aman divisions were officially declared as ASF disease control areas,” he said.
He also stated that in May 2022, the Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi announced that the spread of the ASF was under control in Sarawak and that Kuching, Serian, and Samarahan were still free of the ASF disease.
“In August 2022, the ASF disease was reported to have been found in Serian pig farms.
In light of the far-reaching effects and impacts of the ASF, Chong urged the state government to take immediate action.
“Give reasonable compensation to the pig farmers for the number of pigs that died or were culled as a result of the ASF disease and also to those whose livelihood was severely affected by the spread of the disease.
“As of May 2022, the state government announced that officially more than 15,000 pigs have been culled. It is thus a huge economic loss to the pig farmers,” he said.
Chong also suggested that the state government should engage all the stakeholders, including the pig farmers, feed suppliers, and pork vendors to formulate plans to resolve the problem.
“Conduct an independent investigation and inquiry into the spread of the ASF disease, to find out the extent and true cause for the spread,” he said.