Sabah govt urged to allow pork imports from peninsula

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has been urged to consider importing pork from Peninsular Malaysia to meet local demand and reduce dependency on other countries for supply.

Assistant State Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Datuk James Ratib said Sabah's foreign sources of pork included Singapore, France, Spain and Denmark.

He said bringing in the meat from these countries was one reason for increased pork prices in Sabah.

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"Sabah, through the Veterinary Department, should look at issues and consider allowing pork to be imported from virus and disease-free pig farms in the peninsula," he said in a statement on Monday (Aug 15).

He said Sabah's own pork output had been greatly diminished by the recent African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, which saw thousands of pigs culled.

He said the cost of pig feed had also increased, raising the cost of rearing the animals as well.

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"Consumers and traders have been complaining about this for months now, so we hope the state government can find (ways) to solve this problem," Ratib said.

The Sugut assemblyman said, however, that any pork supply sent to Sabah must undergo strict veterinary screening to ensure that it is safe for consumption.

"We must make sure supplies that come into Sabah are virus- and disease-free," he said.

For now, Sabah has only issued import licences for pork supplies to France, Spain, Denmark and Singapore.

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