SERDANG: The government has given an assurance that cattle to be imported from Thailand for sacrificial worship ahead of Aidiladha will be those free of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and foot and mouth disease (FMD).
Agriculture and Food Industries Deputy Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said all cattle imported from Thailand will undergo a quarantine process and be certified disease-free before being allowed into the country.
"The Thai government will also ensure that cows brought into the country for sacrificial purposes or other reasons will be free of those diseases.
"Cows imported for sacrificial purposes will undergo a 28-day quarantine period whereas the quarantine will be 35 days for other purposes," he told reporters after officiating at the World Bee Day celebration at Universiti Putra Malaysia here on Friday (May 20).
On June 7 last year, the Veterinary Services Department suspended the imports of ruminants (cows and buffaloes) from Thailand with immediate effect after accessing the risk of LSD in more than 41 districts there.
After several meetings, discussions as well as improvements to several import rules and procedures, the department lifted the ban with effect from March 15.
Ahmad said the import of cattle into Malaysia had been tightened to help prevent the spread of diseases such as LSD and FMD.
"The entry of cows from Thailand must be subjected to strict conditions. We expect more than 12,000 cows to be imported from Thailand for sacrificial worship this year,” he said.
Last year, Malaysia imported 12,405 head of cattle from Thailand in conjunction with Aidiladha, compared to 12,553 head in 2020.
Meanwhile, on the question of a food crisis in the country, Ahmad said several measures were being formulated to ensure sufficient and stable supply for Malaysia.
"The ministry is monitoring the problems faced at this time and what action needs to be taken," he added.
It was earlier reported that Malaysia may experience a severe food crisis if various problems such as inflation, rising oil prices, extreme weather, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict continue. – Bernama