SMC abattoir may open sooner than ordered, says DVSS director

Posted on 11 Mar 2022
Source of News: The Borneo Post (Peter Boon)

Sanitisation works being carried out at the SMC abattoir. – Photo via WhatsApp/Clarence TingSanitisation works being carried out at the SMC abattoir. – Photo via WhatsApp/Clarence Ting

SIBU (March 11): The Sibu Municipal Council’s (SMC) abattoir ordered to close for a period of 60 days, after some pig samples collected tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF), may be allowed to resume operation earlier.

According to the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud, this will depend on readiness of the SMC abattoir, after complete decontamination and sanitation works.

It was reported that DVSS in a letter dated March 9, 2022 had ordered the SMC abattoir at Jalan Ding Lik Kong to be closed for a period of 60 days, after some pig samples collected from the abattoir for ASF tested positive for the virus.

It was further reported that the closure was made to enable the cleaning and disinfection process to be done.

“Yes (there is a possibility that the SMC abattoir will reopen sooner than the 60 days closure (period).

“(This will depend on the) Readiness of SMC abattoir after complete decontamination and sanitation,” Dr Adrian told The Borneo Post last night.

He was asked about the possibility of the SMC abattoir reopening sooner than the 60 days period imposed for cleaning and disinfection works.

Meanwhile, SMC chairman Clarence Ting, when contacted, said the abattoir will open only with DVSS’ approval.

“SMC will try to sanitise as per their advice and will work with the department to open as soon as possible,” he said.

In a statement here on Wednesday, Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government II Michael Tiang said he had instructed SMC to look into the closure of its abattoir and take appropriate action so that it can be opened as soon as possible.

He said he had instructed SMC to look for ways to deal with it and hoped the abattoir could be reopened earlier than two months which was fixed by DVSS.

“I wish that SMC can look into it and see whether it is possible to clear up the place and sanitise it according to the required standards and reopen the abattoir earlier than the period that DVSS had ordered,” Tiang said.

Tiang, who is Pelawan assemblyman, pointed out that the closure was necessary to prevent further infection of ASF in Sibu.

He said previously the abattoir in Sarikei was ordered to be closed for three months.

Tiang understood that the supply of pork to consumers at various markets was important.

He also said that the closure of SMC abattoir would not only affect the consumers but also the livelihood of pork sellers.

“I hope the public can understand that this is a way to block the chain of the spread of the virus further.

“The closure is critical and has to be done immediately as instructed by our Veterinary Department,” he said.