KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 – The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry has banned importing pork products from China, Poland, Belgium, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia amid the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
The ministry is also working with several ministries to improve Malaysia’s preparedness against any outbreak of the disease that is fatal to pigs, but harmless to humans.
“The introduction of ASF disease into Malaysia will negatively impact the national pork industry which holds 13 per cent of the total value of the livestock industry in Malaysia with an investment value of RM5 billion,” said Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub in a Parliament reply to Betong MP Robert Lawson Chuat.
The ministry will also carry out clinical supervision at commercial pig farms in eight states of peninsular Malaysia, including samples of forest pigs in seven states in the peninsula; as well as perform an ASF outbreak simulation exercise to test the readiness of each participating agency if the ASF outbreak is detected in the country and to test the ASF contingency plan.
Furthermore, the ministry will make an inflight announcement to ensure passengers do not bring in pork-based products by hand carry; and will conduct liaison sessions with waste management operators at ports throughout the country to brief livestock waste disposal procedures from commercial vessels.
“The Ministry through DVS (Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia) and MAQIS (Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services) will continue to monitor and provide up-to-date information on ASF’s disease situation both domestically and abroad to ensure that Malaysia remains free of the disease,” Salahuddin added.
ASF outbreaks have been confirmed in 10 Asian countries including China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea and East Timor.
Separately, Sarawak announced a ban on pork and pork products imported from countries hit by ASF, including China, until further notice, following the detection of DNA of the ASF virus in one of 17 canned luncheon pork imported from China in a test conducted by the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak.
“The detection of the virus was confirmed by DVS Veterinary Public Health, Salak Tinggi during a laboratory test using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (q-PCR) on Oct 25, 2019,” said the department, according to Bernama.
“Rest assured, so far no ASF infection in pigs has been reported in the state and the detection of the virus has not changed Sarawak ASF-free status.
“Products in shipment will undergo ‘hold-test-release’ mechanism to ensure they are free from ASF virus contamination,” it said.
To date, the department noted that 220 kg of animal products have been seized from travellers at all entry points and compounds have been issued for violation of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.