Outbreak leads to culling of livestock

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Veterinary Services Department (DVS) has confirmed an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Pitas and will cull pigs in the area.

Livestock in other affected areas would also be culled, said state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said the action was taken under the Animal Enactment which includes controlling the movement of pigs and the selling of pork products to curb the spread of disease.

“Culling will be carried out as soon as possible as ASF is a highly infectious disease with no cure or ready vaccine.

“This control measure will be coordinated through the district disaster management committee and is expected to be completed within six months.

“Our main goal is to stop the disease from spreading to commercial pig farms located in Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Sandakan and Tawau, ” he said.

Jeffrey said the affected villages and premises would be disinfected and the DVS would carry out an awareness campaign to increase public understanding about ASF which is specific to pigs and harmless to humans.

He said the government would consider compensating the affected farmers based on rates which would be determined later.

He added that the state also took note of the Sarawak government’s decision to ban pork and pork products from Sabah.

“But we are confident that the ban will not leave a significant effect on the pork industry in Sabah because we have no record of such exports, ” he said.

Currently, ASF does not affect the production of pork for domestic consumption, estimated to be worth RM300mil a year.

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