Pork sold in Sabah clear of diseases, safe for consumption, says Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: Pork sold to the public in Sabah for consumption is safe to eat and clear of diseases, says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

The state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister said he was aware of talk circulating on social media claiming that all pork here was infected with African Swine Fever and that consumers should avoid eating pork.

He said the unverified information also said that ASF was hazardous to people’s health.

“This is not true. ASF does not pose a health risk to humans and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans," Kitingan said.

“The government is paying close attention to this since it has the potential to cripple our pork industry if no action is taken to curb the spread of ASF," he added.

He again assured consumers that they should not be concerned about the safety of the pork sold at local markets.

Kitingan said despite the discovery of the ASF virus in ten districts, the most recent in Penampang, commercial pig farms in these areas have so far been spared the infection.

He added that in Sabah, pigs are slaughtered in Veterinary Services Department (VSD)-certified abattoirs before being sold in the markets.

He said all pigs will be examined for ASF and other diseases before slaughter.

“Samples will be taken for surveillance where necessary. So far, the department has not found any ASF-infected pigs in any of the slaughterhouses in Sabah,” Kitingan said.

He said consumers may find the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding ASF from the DVS offices in all the districts throughout Sabah.

Meanwhile, he assured consumers that Sabah’s pork supply would be sufficient to meet demand, particularly during the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.

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