African Swine Fever not cause of Sabah's mysterious wild boar deaths, says Jeffrey Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: The mysterious deaths of dozens of wild boar in Sabah' s east coast is not due to African Swine Fever (ASF), says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

The Deputy Chief Minister said initial tests results showed that ASF was not the cause for the deaths and more tests are under way.

"The Veterinary Department investigating team collected 11 samples – seven from bone marrow of the carcasses or bone remnants and another four from meat samples from sinalau bakas (barbequed wild boar) vendors.

"Initial results showed that (the samples) were all negative for ASF" he said.

Jeffrey said that the state veterinary department was preparing a preliminary report for Putrajaya and the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) – the World Organization for Animal Health – of their findings.

Jeffrey said investigations were still ongoing.

"We also suspected poisoning (was involved) but weren't able to do any tests on rotten carcasses," Jeffrey told The Star.

It was reported that a total of 29 wild boar carcasses were found in Kinabatangan and five in Sugud and Paitan between Jan 28 and Feb 4,.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the boars had died at least a week ago and had badly decomposed.

He said the department and the state Veterinary Services and Animal Industry Department were investigating the cause of the deaths.

Tuuga advised the public against consuming wild boar meat for the time being.

He also reminded hunters not to hunt during this movement control order period.

"No permits to hunt wild animals are being issued during MCO," he said.

According to the US Department of Agriculture website, ASF does not affect humans and is not a public health threat. ASF is a disease of pigs only and is therefore not a threat to non-swine pets or other livestock.

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