DVSS director: SMC abattoir may be allowed to resume operation early next month

Posted on 22 Mar 2022
Source of News: The Borneo Post (Peter Boon)

Chieng (second left) points to the plastering works at a pig pen housed in SMC abattoir, while Anthony is at third left. – Photo by Peter BoonChieng (second left) points to the plastering works at a pig pen housed in SMC abattoir, while Anthony is at third left. – Photo by Peter Boon

SIBU (March 22): The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) abattoir, which was 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 early next month.

“Yes, it is possible,” Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Dr Adrian was asked if there was a possibility that the SMC abattoir would resume operation in early April.

Meanwhile, during a site visit to the SMC abattoir to check on facilities with DVS Sibu Division yesterday, Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng expressed hope for the abattoir to reopen soon before the end of the 60-day closure period.

Chieng pointed out that SMC had rectified the eight areas listed by DVS as part of the requirement for the abattoir to resume operation.

Among them were clearing of overgrown vegetations; disposal of old and defective equipment; disposal of wooden materials that could gather germs; and difficulty to wash, sanitise and limewash pig pens and so on.

“Today, SMC staff will bring the DVS personnel to check and verify on these eight areas that had been rectified.

“I also want to know the status and progress of cleaning works listed by DVS Sibu,” he said.

Aside from the eight items listed for improvement, extra works are being done such as sanitising the premises, which had been done twice and will be done continuously; cleaning the entire area of the abattoir, cleaning of pig pens and vehicles using treated water from Sibu Water Board instead of using water from the river like previously.

He said there was also plastering works on small holes/cracks on concrete walls of pig pens, followed by repainting.

“We hope it can reopen as soon as possible, after it has been checked and verified by DVS.

“The closure of this abattoir places burden on pig farmers, pork sellers, restaurants and even consumers. We hope we can resolve this issue as soon as possible.

“All agencies need to work together to resolve this issue. Hopefully, the government can provide assistance to those affected like pig farmers and pork dealers.

“I will talk to Veterinary Department and with all these (rectifications done) – hopefully it (the abattoir) can reopen soon,” Chieng said.

Assistant veterinary officer of the Department of Veterinary Services here, Anthony Janggu, and SMC acting environmental health officer Ting Tin Teck were also present during the site visit.

Meanwhile, it was recently 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.

On March 13, Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom had said that the SMC abattoir could only resume its operation after the sanitation, decontamination and vacating activities of the premises had been completed.

Dr Rundi had further explained that this is according to 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.

It was reported on March 20, Dudong assemblyman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had urged the authorities to work together to expedite the reopening of the SMC abattoir by this weekend.

“I have contacted SMC and the Department of Veterinary Services to urge them to work together to speed up the reopening by next weekend.

“I called the DVS today and urged them to communicate clearly what upgrades are needed and to work closely with the municipal council to acquire them and install.

“I also spoke to Clarence Ting, the SMC chairman, to expedite the upgrade works on the equipment to be done next week.

“With them working together, we hope that these projects can be completed by next weekend or as soon as possible,” he said in a statement then, adding that many parties were eager to see it resume operations.