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Published: Tuesday December 30, 2008 MYT 7:40:00 PM

10 pig farms under quarantine

PUTRAJAYA: Ten pig farms have been quarantined by the Veterinary Services Department and animals not allowed to enter or leave the farms since Dec 22 following the discovery of beta-agonist, a banned growth enhancer, in pig feed.

Director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin said the department had conducted tests beginning September on 490 of the 656 pig farms nationwide and found that 10 had used the drug.

He said five of the farms were in Malacca, three in Selangor and a farm each in Perak and Penang, while farms in Kedah and Johor were still free of the drug.

“The farms involved have been quarantined, which means that the pigs are not allowed to leave those farms.

“The livestock will not be issued health certificates for the moment and cannot be slaughtered,” he said in a statement here Tuesday.

Abdul Aziz said farm owners were given 30 days to clean up all traces of the drug in the feed supply system and ensure that the animals were free of beta-agonist.

He said after the 30-day period, farmers could appeal for their quarantine orders to be retracted and veterinary enforcement persnnel would conduct tests on all pigs on the farm.

However, he said, the farms would be quarantined for another 90 days if the pigs tested positive of the drug.

The use of beta-agonist is prohibited and under the proposed 2008 Animal Feed Bill tabled in Parliament and expected to be approved as the Animal Feed Act next year, and those found guilty can be fined not more than RM100,000 or jailed not more than two years or both for the first offence.

For the second or consequent offences, they will be fined not more than RM200,000 or jailed not more than four years, or both. -- Bernama

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