Dr Rundi speaks to reporters during a press conference on March 8. — Photo by Roystein Emmor
SIBU (March 13): The incineration method for pig carcasses as proposed by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) may be costly and impractical due to the large number of pigs culled, said Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
The Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development said the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (DVSS) will continue to use the existing SOPs (standard operating procedures) for culling activities to control the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).
“The culling activities were carried out on two infected pig farms in Sibu, involving 764 pigs at Batu 11, Jalan Oya and Tanjung Kunyit,” he said in a press statement today.
Meanwhile Dr Rundi said the SMC abattoir can only resume its operation after the sanitation, decontamination and vacating activities of the premises have been completed.
He explained that this is according to the SOP of the Veterinary Standing Directive (‘Arahan Tetap Veterinar’) issued by DVS Malaysia in Putrajaya which stated that after the disposal and sanitation activities of infected premises, the premises must be left empty for 40 days before the animals are brought in.
“This ASF virus can be active in the environment over a long period of time. I hope individuals affected by this closure order to be patient for a while. Pork is available from Kuching and is guaranteed to be sufficient for the demand of the locals,” said Dr Rundi.
Towards this end, he recorded his appreciation to elected people’s representatives, individuals and all agencies who have contributed in the control of ASF disease in Sibu.
He also thanked SMC and the traders involved for successfully carrying out sanitation and decontamination work on all contaminated premises.
“This activity is necessary to ensure that the pig industry in Sarawak will continue to develop and grow if this ASF disease can be controlled and eradicated,” he said.