Sabah halts all poultry exports following bird flu detection in Tuaran


KOTA KINABALU: All poultry exports from Sabah have automatically been stopped, following detection of bird flu in chickens in Tuaran on Aug 3.

Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries minister Junz Wong said this was to prevent the spread of the virus outside of the contaminated area.

However, he did not specify how many stocks or which countries are affected by the export halt.

“For Brunei, they themselves requested to stop the import of our poultry following this incident,” Wong said during a press conference on Monday (Aug 13).

A total of three chickens from two villages in Tuaran have been detected with the bird flu virus.

Meanwhile, villagers whose poultry have been culled following the detection of bird flu in Tuaran will be compensated.

Wong said villagers reared chicken mostly for their own consumption, and the culling has caused them losses.

"So, we will be compensating the affected villagers accordingly," he said.

Meanwhile, he said poultry farmers would not be compensated as such because they knew the risks when venturing into the industry.

Almost 30,000 chicken and poultry have been destroyed after the detection of the virus.

Wong also said that the bird flu virus is believed to have originated from imported chickens, which were used in illegal cock-fighting activities.

On other matters, Sabah will have a standard operating procedure (SOP) to streamline the processing of bird's nests for export to China.

“We want things done directly from Sabah and not have to go through Peninsular Malaysia,” he said, adding this move is expected to benefit locals.

Wong said those interested to venture into the bird's nests business can go to his ministry to get their application forms.

The full SOP will be revealed in a month’s time.