KUALA LUMPUR: The Butchers Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur has urged the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to allow Perak pig farmers to move their animals across state boundaries.
After the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) barred interstate movements of pigs for a month from the end of January to combat the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), pork shortages are starting to emerge in several states.
Association chairman Lee Peng Hock said Klang Valley alone requires around 3,000 pigs each day, and with the current restrictions, it is forced to make do with only 500 animals from Selangor.
"It is estimated that 80% of our pork supply comes from Penang and Perak, and because of ASF, supply from Penang is disrupted.
"Perak's supply has also been halted because the government is concerned with the spread of ASF," he said at a press conference here on Wednesday (Feb 8), adding that this has been an issue since Chinese New Year.
Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng was also present at the news conference.
Lee claimed that since DVS implemented the restriction, the supply of pigs from states other than Penang and Perak has been reduced to the point of affecting various downstream businesses such as slaughterhouses, merchants, and restaurants.
According to him, other states such as Pahang, Johor, Selangor, and Melaka now suffer from severe pork shortages, except for Penang and Perak, which are self-sufficient.
Lee also said that DVS had refused to recognise ASF testing by private laboratories commissioned by farmers to prove that their flocks are ASF-free.
He said some Perak pig farmers have commissioned private testing to show the health of their pigs, but DVS refused to accept the results.
Butchers in Selangor hope that DVS will lift the restriction as soon as possible by allowing unaffected pig farms from elsewhere to move their animals into the state.
He said any further restrictions on the movements of pigs from Perak to Selangor will impact the pork supply to Klang Valley.
Prices of live pigs at the farms have soared to RM1,520 per 100kg, and several requests for roast pork for temple festivals have been turned down due to the shortage.