‘Meat products thoroughly checked’

PETALING JAYA: The Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM) has given its assurance that poultry and meat products have gone through stringent inspections to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

In the light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, deputy FLFAM president, Lee Yoon Yeau, said despite the fact that there was no evidence linking the virus outbreak with poultry or birds, the association has taken the necessary steps and adhered to measures set by the relevant authorities.

“We followed all the standard operating procedures to ensure that our stock is safe in order to prevent any untoward incidents, ” he said.

The current respiratory disease outbreak was first found in people who shopped or worked at a wet market in the city of Wuhan.

The pathogen may have been transmitted to humans from live animals sold there.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus) is more genetically related to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) rather than the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) viruses, but both are betacoronaviruses, with their origins in bats,

It was reported on Jan 26 that the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry will monitor closely the import of goods from China following the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the director-general of Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan), Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, said the entry of all wildlife into Malaysia is bound by the Wildlife Conservation Act and International Trade in Endangered Species Act.

“Each import application of wildlife into the country will be reviewed and would not be approved if it were found to have a high risk.

“Perhilitan officers have been placed at the country’s main entry points, including airports and border checkpoints, to ensure that no wildlife without permit can enter the country.

“Each consignment of wildlife without permit will be seized, and returned back to its origin country, or disposed off immediately.”

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Minister Sim Tze Tzin said no meat products are imported from Wuhan, and there are no reports thus far to say that 2019-nCoV is spread from animal products.

He said Malaysia is self-sufficient in terms of poultry, while beef is mostly imported from India and Australia.

“Nevertheless, good hygiene must be practised when handling food.

“The Veterinary Services Department is monitoring closely and are in touch with experts from OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) on this matter, ” he said.

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