KOTA BARU: Countries that had imposed a temporary freeze on the import of Malaysian poultry products may now consider rescinding it, as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OiE) is about to declare the country free of the H5N1 bird flu.
According to Veterinary Services Department (VSD) director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam, a full report was sent to OiE to enable it to declare Malaysia H5N1-free, given that no new cases were detected for 90 days from the last culling.
With this, countries such as Japan, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are expected to lift the temporary import ban on chicken, duck and bird’s nest from Malaysia, he said.
“The Veterinary Services Department declared Malaysia free of the highly pathogenic avian influenza effective July 1, as no new case was detected for 90 days following the last disinfection activity (in Kelantan) on April 1,” Dr Quaza said in a statement yesterday.
Prior to this, Malaysia had remained free of the highly pathogenic avian influenza for 10 years, with the last case recorded in 2007.
The record was broken when H5N1 involving free ranging chicken was detected in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Kelantan, on Feb 28.
Following the outbreak, VSD took measures to quickly contain the outbreak within 24 days by culling poultry within a 1km radius from the infection sites.
Nearly 57,000 birds were culled, while 17,531 eggs were destroyed at 36 locations in six districts – Kota Baru (15 locations), Pasir Mas (six), Tumpat (five), Tanah Merah (one), Bachok (six) and Pasir Puteh (three).
Police erected roadblocks in Jeli, Bukit Yong, Gua Musang and Besut to stem attempts to transport poultry out of Kelantan.
Authorities also tightened border controls to curb the smuggling of poultry and implemented the e-permit system to control the movement of poultry within the respective districts.
VSD wants to exercise more oversight over small-time poultry breeders by asking farmers to provide information on their farms and animals.
“Biosecurity measures are being enhanced for healthy and hygienic poultry breeding,” he said.