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African Swine Fever: Sarawak minister says farms in Sibu to be sealed, pigs to be culled
Posted on : 11 Jan 2022  Source of News: Malay Mail
 

Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests conducted by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory today confirmed samples taken from three backyard farms in Durin, 38km from Sibu, to be positive of the disease. — AFP pic

SIBU, Jan 10 — Farms infected with the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Sibu will be sealed and all the pigs at these farms will be culled, the farms depopulated and the carcasses disposed by burial on site.

This is after the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests conducted by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory today confirmed samples taken from three backyard farms in Durin, 38km from here, to be positive of the disease.

“The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) has already mobilised its personnel to determine the extent of the outbreak and have taken all the necessary actions to prevent the disease from spreading to the other pig farms,” said Sarawak Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom in a statement today.

“There is no treatment or vaccines available to treat or control ASF, which is highly virulent and contagious but not harmful to humans and is not a zoonotic disease.

“However, the disease could lead to serious economic losses to farmers and also impact food security,” he added.

His ministry and the DVSS have had several engagements with the pig farmers for them to step up their farm biosecurity including preventing outsiders from coming to visit their farms.

Surveillance, both clinical and serological, is being conducted and specimens taken for laboratory diagnoses.

“We have also advised our farmers not to feed their pigs with leftovers from the restaurants or kitchens as the ASF virus in contaminated pork products can survive the cooking process and being highly resistant, can cause ASF infection in pigs,” said Dr Rundi.

The Regulatory Division of DVSS will continue to enforce the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure the imported pork and pork products are from countries that are free from ASF.

At the moment, the importation of pork and pork products into Sarawak from the ASF-infected countries as well as from West Malaysia and Sabah is already banned.

“The DVSS will continue to conduct checks at the airports, seaports and shops to ensure that pork and pork products brought in illegally are not sold to the public. All imports must require import permits and smugglers will be severely dealt with the law,” he warned.

To prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of Sarawak, Rundi is seeking the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially the pig farmers to step up vigilance and their farm biosecurity.

They can contact the nearest DVSS office or WhatsApp to the Regulatory Division’s hotline at 016-284 0918 if they have any queries. — Bernama

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