Mandatory checks on livestock in Sabah to prevent FMD

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has made it mandatory for veterinary offices statewide to carry out rigorous medical inspections on all types of livestock transported inter-district to prevent the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the steps are being taken in the wake of the FMD outbreak in Indonesia.

That country is grappling with the disease which spreads among cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.

The first case was reported on April 28.

In the past few weeks, cattle in six districts in Aceh and East Java have been infected, resulting in many animals dying.

“Sabah is already fighting the African Swine Fever (ASF). Therefore, the FMD must be avoided at all costs,” said Jeffrey, who is also the state’s Agriculture and Fisheries Minister.

He said his ministry also requires that all livestock movement to other districts be documented using movement forms or certificates issued by the state’s Veterinary Services Department, with the livestock’s health conditions clearly stated.

The forms can be obtained from the department’s district offices, he added.

Jeffrey said farmers are advised to impose strict biosecurity requirements on livestock farms such as installing vehicle sprayers, quarantining foreign workers, especially those from Indonesia before allowing them to return to work, and prohibiting outside visitors into their farms.

He added that they are also prohibited from bringing in additional livestock or meat products from neighbouring countries for fear that they could be infected with FMD.

Sabah has been declared FMD free.

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