Refrain from hunting in border areas

KUCHING: The public has been advised to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) into the state.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said people should not go hunting, especially in the border areas to prevent the possibility of carrying the disease into the state.

He said the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVS) had put in place SOPs with regard to the handling of ASF in potential infested areas.

“Our role is to assist DVS in awareness, update records and collect samples for DVS to conduct analysis,” he said.

He said SFC would strictly implement the provisions of the Wild Life Protection Ordinance (WLPO) 1998, especially on the movement and trade of wildlife particularly in infested areas.

“The WLPO has provisions to stop movement of wild animal products to be sold or moved from infested areas to other areas in order to prevent the spread of disease. This is where we play our role,” he explained.

Zolkipli explained that ASF is deadly for pigs and could wipe out both wild and domesticated pigs.

He said preventive measures included ensuring that ASF does not spread to new areas by stopping the movement of pigs and pork products.

“This movement is always facilitated by humans,” he said.

Earlier, DVS director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said they were carrying out investigations regarding a viral claim that wild boars in Long Busang, Kapit had died from suspected ASF.

It was also reported that DVS was looking into the cause of death of a few pigs in two villages in Lawas, taking into account the ASF outbreak in Sabah as well as the suspected outbreak at the Nunukan and Krayan provinces in North Kalimantan, Indonesia.

To date, Sarawak is still free of ASF.