Malaysia still free of ASF disease: Veterinary DG

07 Jun 2019 / 20:07 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is still free of African Swine Fever (ASF) disease, says Veterinary Services director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam.

He said it was due to the precautionary measures implemented by the Veterinary Services Department to prevent the spread of the ASF virus by issuing temporary ban on pork and pork products from China on Nov 12, last year, followed by Poland and Belgium (Jan 17), Thailand and Vietnam (Jan 23) and Cambodia (April 4).

Quaza Nizamuddin said the clinical surveillance had also been carried out in commercial pig farms in eight states and thus far there were no signs of the ASF outbreak.

“Wild boar sampling were also carried out with the Department of Forestry by taking samples from 35 wild boars in six states in the peninsula and thus far no signs of ASF virus,“ he said in a statement here today.

He also said monitoring and inspection on pork products from countries affected by ASF had been carried out by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Service (MAQIS) Department at the country’s main entry points beginning Nov 12 last year.

“To date, 180 samples of meat and pork products from countries affected by ASF have been collected from the West Klang Port, Pasir Gudang Port and Bukit Kayu Hitam and tested at the Animal Research Institute as well as regional veterinary labs.

“To date no ASF virus has been detected from all samples collected,“ he said.

He said MAQIS had also conducted checks as well as seizures of pork products brought in by passengers from countries affected by ASF at the KLIA and klia2.

He said the public awareness campaign on ASF disease was also carried out involving pig farmers to increase farm biosecurity measures.

“A table-top simulation of the ASF outbreak was carried out on Feb 22 involving the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, state Department of Veterinary Services, MAQIS, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Ministry of Transport and Forestry Department to test the level of preparedness of each agency in the event of ASF epidemic detected in the country as well as testing the contingency plans that have been developed,“ he said.

ASF is a highly contagious animal disease that can cause almost 100% mortality of wild and domestic pigs. As of May 30, five ASF outbreaks have been reported in Asia, namely, in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea. — Bernama

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