Over 30,000 pigs culled as of Aug 16 to curb ASF spread


KUCHING: A total of 32,204 pigs have been disposed of as of Aug 16, says Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

The Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development said this strategy was successful in curbing the African Swine Fever (ASF) disease in Limbang and Kapit, in which no new cases were reported.

However, ASF was detected in Serian and Kuching and both had been declared as an ASF disease control area on June 14 due to poor biosecurity.

For the record, ASF was detected in Lawas and Limbang around July 2021, and due to wild boar hunting activities on the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

“ASF cases in Sabah and in Nunukan and Krayan regions in North Kalimantan are believed to be the cause of the spread to Sarawak and some divisions have been declared ASF control areas starting from Limbang and Miri in July 2021.

“ASF control order is implemented under Section 35 (1) (b) of the Public Health Ordinance Veterinary, 1999 and until today, ASF cases have been reported in several divisions in Sarawak that originate from backyard farms in villages or longhouses and also commercial farms.

“Wild boar hunting activities near the border and poor farm biosecurity are the main causes of infection and the case index was reported in villages close to the border before spreading to other areas.”

According to Dr Rundi, engagement sessions with relevant agencies were conducted, especially with the agencies that guard entry into the state, and also postal operator and courier services.

“The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee has been informed on the development of the disease through weekly meetings and all agencies under the committee have been instructed to assist the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVS).”

Dr Rundi called on pig farmers in Sarawak to remain vigilant and strengthen the biosecurity of their farms and among the precautionary steps included reporting to the nearest veterinary services office of any livestock death; continuous testing and getting a livestock transfer permit from DVS.

“Do not give leftover food. If livestock is given leftover food, it needs to be cooked for at least 30 minutes to kill the ASF virus.

“Pig breeders are to wash their body and disinfect clothes, shoes and trucks after coming in contact with animals or animal products.

“Avoid any contact between wild boars and farm pigs by improving and enhancing physical barriers.

“The number of visitors, vehicles and lorries entering the farm should be limited to prevent the spread of the virus and pig breeders must take precautions when transporting livestock from farms to slaughterhouses and food factories to avoid infection.”

Dr Rundi also advised the public to not worry as the disease only infects pigs and is not zoonotic. Pork in the market is safe for consumption.

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