Domestic pigs found healthy: Vet Dept

Dr Adrian Susin Ambud. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Findings by the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak’s (DVSS) surveillance programme in Lawas show that all domestic pigs checked thus far are healthy.

“Investigations are still ongoing and we will continue to conduct surveillance,” said DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune today.

He shared this update regarding investigations into the cause of death of a few pigs in two villages in Lawas, in view of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Sabah as well as the suspected outbreak at Nunukan and Krayan provinces in North Kalimantan, Indonesia.

He said thus far, Sarawak is still free from ASF. He also assured that all pork meat sold in the market is free from the virus and safe for public consumption.

“This disease can cause 100 percent mortality in both wild boars and pigs. This virus is known for its hardiness in harsh environments and it is highly contagious,” he said, adding that ASF is not a zoonotic disease and thus would not infect humans.

He said as there is currently no vaccine to curb the virus, the practice of strict biosecurity is key to combat ASF.

“For farmers, avoid feeding swill from table scraps and avoid bringing any live wild boars or pigs, pork, or pork-based products into the disease control area. This also includes buying imported pork meat and pork products online,” he said.

Dr Adrian said farmers were also encouraged to increase farm sanitary practices using disinfectants as well as to wash and disinfect their hands after handling live boars, pigs, or pork products.

“Farmers should avoid direct contact with wild boars by building proper fences around the farming area, and avoid potential cross-contamination by restricting visitors to their farms and refrain from visiting other pig farms as well,” he advised. 

At the same time, he urged members of the public to report any abnormal deaths of live wild boars or pigs as well as any illegal activities pertaining to the import and sales of pork meat and pork products to the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office or via WhatsApp (016-2840918).

In an earlier report, Dr Adrian also said DVSS is carrying out investigations regarding claims, which went viral, that wild boars in Long Busang, Kapit had died from suspected ASF.

Recently, Kapit division and Telang Usan district were declared as ASF disease control areas following reports of a suspected outbreak at Nunukan and Krayan provinces in North Kalimantan, Indonesia.