Swine fever spreads to five more Malaysia’s Sabah districts

Pig farms in Russia and elsewhere have culled entire herds to prevent the spread of African swine fever. EDUARD KORNIYENKO/REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KOTA KINABALU, Mar 7, 2021, FMT. African swine fever has now been found in five other districts of Sabah in addition to Tuas, but the main commercial pig farms are still free of infections, a state minister said today, Free Malaysia Today.

State agriculture minister Jeffrey Kitingan said the virus was found to have infected pigs and wild boar in Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Beluran and Telupid.

“This includes the case of a wild boar death at a resort in Kinabatangan that went viral on social media last week,” he said in a statement, today.

However, Kitingan said the existing commercial pig farms in Tawau, Sandakan, Tenom, Papar, Tuaran and Penampang are still free of the virus. The farms are among the largest contributors of pig products in Sabah.

“We must ensure that the area remains free from the disease so that the production of pork products for the local market is not affected. While the virus cannot infect humans yet, it can result in a severely affected economy in turn affecting society,” he said.

Kitingan, who is also deputy chief minister, said pigs in infected areas would be culled, and disinfection work carried out in the area where the virus is detected. A total of 110 pigs from nine villages had been destroyed so far.

He said the wildlife department had frozen hunting licenses and suspended sales of “sinalau bakas” (smoked wild boar).

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