KUCHING: Sarawak has banned the import of pigs, pork and pork products from Sabah with immediate effect after African Swine Fever (ASF) was reported to have been detected among pigs in the neighbouring state's Pitas district.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the ban was made under Section 8 of the Sarawak Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure that Sarawak remains free from ASF.
"The public are advised not to buy or bring in any pork or pork products from Sabah or any neighbouring countries.
"Anyone who contravenes the import ban order can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed for two years, or both," he said in a statement on Monday (Feb 22).
It was reported on Sunday (Feb 21) that eight of 13 pigs sampled in Pitas, Sabah, tested positive for ASF.
Uggah also said the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department will tighten biosecurity measures, especially in Limbang division which borders Sabah, and intensify ASF disease surveillance throughout the state.
He said the department had conducted several engagement and awareness sessions on ASF with stakeholders, including farmers, importers, Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd and government agencies.
"The department will also step up awareness campaigns and regulatory measures to ensure that the virus does not enter the state," he said.
Sarawak has 30,000 sows producing 455,000 porkers worth RM455mil annually.
Uggah said the Veterinary Services Department was responsible for ensuring that Sarawak remained free from animal diseases that were zoonotic and had an economic impact.
"The department will continue to enforce the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance to ensure that pork and pork products are imported from ASF-free countries," he said.
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