Dato Sri Tiong King Sing
SIBU (March 20): Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has called upon the relevant authorities to work together in expediting the reopening of the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC)’s abattoir.
He said that he had contacted the council and the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak regarding the matter.
“I have contacted SMC and the DVS, to urge them to work together in speeding up the reopening (of the abattoir) by next weekend.
“I called the DVS today (Friday) and urged them to communicate clearly what upgrades would be needed and for it to work closely with the municipal council in acquiring and installing them (upgrades).
“I also spoke to Clarence Ting, the SMC Chairman, about expediting the upgrading works on the equipment to be done next week.
“With them working together, we hope that these projects could be completed by next weekend, or as soon as possible,” said Tiong, who is also Dudong assemblyman, in a statement, where he also said many parties were eager to see the resumption of the abattoir’s operations.
It was reported that DVS Sarawak, in a letter dated March 9 this year, had ordered the SMC abattoir at Jalan Ding Lik Kong here to be closed for a period of 60 days, after some samples collected from there tested positive for the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
It was stated that the closure was made to facilitate the cleaning and disinfection works on the place.
On March 13, Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi had said that the SMC abattoir could only resume its operations upon the completion of the sanitation, decontamination and vacating works – in compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP) of the Veterinary Standing Directive issued by the DVS headquarters in Putrajaya, which states that after the disposal and sanitation activities of the infected premises, the place must be left empty for 40 days before any animal could be brought in.
In this regard, Tiong also called upon the authorities to issue the SOPs over the reopening of slaughterhouses, as soon as possible.
“We need to ensure that all pig farmers are clear on the various procedures that they must follow in order to avoid any confusion, hiccups or problems going forward.
“The farmers themselves must also cooperate closely with and comply with all the regulations drawn up by the authorities to prevent the ASF from coming back in waves,” said the MP, pointing out that it would not do anyone any good if the slaughterhouses were forced shut down again should the infection reoccur.
“I would like to thank the DVS, the SMC and all other parties involved for their dedication and cooperation in tackling this swine fever issue.
“I will also continue to keep an eye on the reopening of the abattoir,” added Tiong.