The Malaysian government has banned pork-related products from Indonesia starting December 13 following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
Tourists are also banned from bringing in pork-related products into Malaysia, said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Sim Tze Tzin.
The Agriculture Ministry of Indonesia has confirmed ASF outbreak in Northern Sumatera, making Indonesia the 11th country affected by the outbreak in Asia. Other countries are: Cambodia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Timor-Leste.
Sim said this when handing out school aid to 180 recipients under the “Back to School 2020” in Bayan Baru yesterday.
Enforcement officers are urged to be stringent at the airports in screening travellers’ luggage as the current period is considered peak season due to school holidays and festive season with high number of tourists.
“The local pork industry is worth RM5billion (US$1.21 billion) and is 93 per cent self-sustainable. The ban does not affect sales of pork in Malaysia as only 7% of pork are imported. The public should not be worried of increase in price of pork due to the ban,’’ said Sim.
Since November last year, Malaysia started to ban import of pork-related products, including frozen pork products from 10 countries affected by ASF outbreak in stages.
Sim said the Health Ministry would be carrying out raids at shopping malls, restaurants and food outlets to check on pork related products.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry has confirmed the ASF outbreak in Indonesia. FAO is liaising with the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services.
The Director of Animal Health requested FAO to provide recommendations on containment and control of African Swine Fever. The Indonesian Agriculture Ministry has not released any information so far.
More than 27,000 pigs have been culled while several thousands of pigs are at risk, said animal health officer.
The authorities claimed that tens of thousands of pigs have been culled for the last few months in many provinces in Northern Sumatera. The number of pigs culled is believed to be increasing.
The Medan Veterinary office head said on average 1,000 to 2,000 pigs die every day. The number is relatively small as compared to 1.2 million pigs in Northern Sumatera. However, pork is the main food for the Christians in the region despite majority of Indonesians are Muslims.
More than 1,000 pigs were discarded at water channels last month. The authorities are digging out the dead pigs from the water channels to bury them. The police are tracing those involved in discarding the dead pigs into water channels.
SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK