KUCHING: Sarawak has banned the importation of pigs, pork and pork products from Sabah with immediate effect following news that eight out of 13 pigs sampled from Pitas, Sabah tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today said the ban was made under Section 8 of the Sarawak Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.
“The public are advised not to buy or bring in any pork and pork products from Sabah or any neighbouring countries. Anyone who contravenes this Import Ban Order or imports any animal or animal product without permit commits an offence (under Section 9 of the Ordinance) and can be fined up to RM50,000 and/or imprisonment for two years (upon conviction),” he said in a statement.
He said the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) would also tighten biosecurity measures in the state especially in Limbang Division, which borders Sabah, and intensify ASF disease surveillance throughout Sarawak.
“DVSS will also step up awareness campaign and regulatory measures to ensure the virus does not enter the state. Sarawak is still free from African Swine Fever,” he said.
Uggah said DVSS had conducted several engagement and awareness sessions with the relevant stakeholders like farmers, importers, Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad and other government agencies in Sarawak on the ban.
“DVSS will continue to enforce the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 to ensure pork and pork products imported are from ASF-free countries,” he added.
Sarawak has a population of 30,000 sows producing 455,000 porkers annually worth RM455 million.