Dr Stephen Rundi Itom.
SIBU (March 30): The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak has allowed the reopening of the abattoir here today, subject to the strict compliance with the set standard operating procedures (SOPs), says Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi.
The Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development said this came after the last inspection conducted on March 25.
The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), in a March 9 statement, said that the pig abattoir and pork market here were confirmed to be African Swine Fever (ASF) positive.
“Thus, the ASF-contaminated premises were sealed for thorough cleaning and sanitisation beginning March 9.
“Following the last inspection on March 25, the department is allowing for the reopening of the abattoir here subject to strict compliance with the SOPs.
“To prevent ASF, control and surveillance at source are of utmost importance. All pigs delivered to slaughterhouses must come from registered pig farms,” said Dr Rundi in a statement yesterday.
Additionally, monitoring and inspection should be conducted frequently at all checkpoints during transportation, as well as in and out of the abattoir, he added.
“To ensure effective implementation of the SOPs in the abattoir, SMC and butchers must be responsible for strictly enforcing the SOPs,” he said.
ASF is a severe, highly contagious, viral disease affecting pigs, but it does not infect humans and poses no food safety risk.
According to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), ASF is not a threat to human health.
No vaccine or treatment has been developed for the virus yet.
“Hence, DVS Sarawak would like to remind everyone that prevention and practice of strict farm biosecurity remain the best way to prevent the spread of ASF and the risk of intrusion of the disease.
“Among other things, local pig farmers are required to maintain proper biosecurity including strictly conducting cleansing and disinfection of farms, controlling the access of vehicles and personnel to farms, and strengthening boundary fencing,” reminded Dr Rundi.