3 October 2019
Travellers from countries experiencing African swine fever (ASF) will be subjected to more stringent airport checks to prevent cross border transmission of the virus.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said they would be checked by officers from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) for any products containing pork, which if found, would be seized.
The airports under Maqis watch for ASF are Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), klia2, Penang, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, he added.
Speaking after a field simulation exercise on an ASF outbreak here today, Sim said the government was confident it could prevent an outbreak in the country.
He said the simulation exercise was aimed at increasing the level of awareness of ASF among the authorities and pig farmers, and facilitating better coordination among agencies, so that they were better prepared in the event of an outbreak.
He said if the biosecurity of pig farms and other precautionary measures were taken, chances of an outbreak could be minimised.
“These include disinfecting all lorries going into the farms, minimising visitors and avoid feeding pigs kitchen waste, especially those containing pork products.”
Since Nov 12, last year, 194 samples of pork and pork related products from ASF risk countries had been tested and all turned out negative.
The ASF is a disease afflicting pigs and wild boars, and it is almost 100 per cent fatal. It does not affect humans.
As of Sept 27, 10 ASF outbreaks have been reported in Asia. The affected countries are China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, the Phillippines and Timor Leste.
Since last year, the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) has banned the import of pork and pork containing products from China, Hong Kong, Poland, Belgium, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
Sim said 499 of the 607 pig farms in the country had been checked and none showed any signs of ASF.
Samples have also been taken from 73 wild boars across Peninsular Malaysia and all turned out negative for ASF too.
The local pig industry is valued to worth an estimated RM3.6 billion annually and pork production is about 213 tonnes.
The industry is almost self-sufficient, supplying 93 per cent of local demand.
Only 11,000 tonnes of pork are imported annually.