Upgrading farm operations

Dr Mah (right) looking at a trench that was dug up at a private farm in Tronoh as part of its upgrading works.

OF THE 121 pig farms in Perak, only one has the proper system for zero discharge of waste.

State Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said all pig farm operators have been urged to enhance or upgrade their operations.

Dr Mah said the state, including the Veterinary Services Department, would assist the operators in enhancing or upgrading their farms.

He said the management practices of about 40% of the total number of pig farms in the state were not satisfactory.

These, he said, included 45 farms that were situated on state land and about seven others on private land.

“I understand that most farmers have agreed to enhance and upgrade their operations.

“They are willing to co-operate with the state but most of them are having problems in terms of technology and technical know-how,” he told reporters after a site visit to a private farm in Tronoh last Friday.

Untreated discharge from a pig farm in Tronoh flowing into a pond nearby.
Untreated discharge from a pig farm in Tronoh flowing into a pond nearby.

He added that the department could try to bring in consultants to assist the farmers in making the industry sustainable.

“Some have agreed to build new pens for the animals while others have agreed to relocate to a more suitable site,” he added.

It was reported last Saturday that dilapidated and unhygienic farms would no longer be tolerated.

The Federal Government has set 2018 for all operators to conform to modern pig farming standards or risk losing licences.

Operators are to ensure their farms follow a closed house system, with zero discharge and effluents recycled into biogas while practising good animal husbandry.

Perak has the biggest pig farming industry in the country, producing 36.77% of the nation’s supply of pork last year.

On the spot-check at a private farm, Dr Mah said it had issues with its solid waste separator machine.

“It is not functioning well and there are signs that it is not being used all the time.

“The discharge goes straight into a pond without being processed,” he said, adding that there have been complaints about the farm.

“The owner has agreed to do the necessary upgrade for the farm,” he said.

Dr Mah added that good management practices also applied to other farms such as poultry farms.

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