Wild pig sightings may signal population recovery, says Jeffrey Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: Reports of recent sightings of the 'Sus barbatus' or Bornean bearded pigs in several districts in Sabah, may be a sign of the species recovery after their population was almost decimated by the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus outbreak in 2020.

State Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said increased sightings of families of wild pigs were reported at Nabawan, Kinabatangan, and Lahad Datu, among others.

This may indicate the species' potential to rebound and restock, nearly two years after the virus outbreak in 2020 that led to a ban on hunting these animals, he said in a statement on Friday (May 26).

However, Jeffrey said they remained cautious as his ministry was still awaiting confirmation on the species and the veracity of the recent sightings.

"We anticipate making an announcement regarding the lifting of the hunting ban soon.

"However, the decision, which we hope to make in the next six months, will depend on the authenticity of these sighting reports," he said.

In the meantime, the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) would continue to monitor the ASF situation closely, he assured.

In relation to that, Jeffrey said he was aware that pork prices in the market had been escalating, which was due to a combination of factors.

"As we all know, the ASF has complicated the issue of supply in the state but at the same time, the cost of animal feed has also continued to rise.

"Fluctuations in feed prices are not uncommon and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including grain prices, global supply and demand, and even weather conditions affecting crop yields.

"As these prices rise, they inevitably contribute to the escalating costs of producing pork, thereby impacting market prices," he explained.

On the recent protest by a group of locals demanding the cancellation and relocation of the Pig Farming Area (PFA) in Tongod district, Jeffrey said the government acknowledged the protesters’ concerns.

However, he said that this 500-acre land had always been intended to be used for a centralised pig farming area.

"We're envisioning it as a modern farming industry complex.

"The DVS will maintain constant supervision over the complex to ensure that operators adhere to stringent rules and regulations, especially concerning the waste management system.

"Our priority is to maintain a balance between the industry's needs and the community's concerns.

"We are committed to ensuring that this complex operates responsibly and with minimal environmental impact," said Jeffrey.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Annuar Musa receives PAS membership cert
Community event in Ayer Hitam receives praise for promoting healthy living
Three witnesses give statements at PAC's LCS proceedings
Indian leaders must be united to resolve issues facing the community, says PM
Use Sosma to fight terrorism, not as tool to abuse power, says MIC chief
Anwar reminds Malaysians not to be duped by racist sentiment raised by failed leaders
Moratorium on legal action for suicide attempts remains, says Ramkarpal
Retired Ampang cops reunite to foster ties
Zahid says he recently visited Najib in Kajang Prison
'Don't kill the Umno tree,' says Tok Mat

Others Also Read