Papar latest district hit by African swine fever
Published on: Thursday, October 21, 2021
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The ASF virus is said to have killed 91 backyard pigs in Papar over a two-week period, resulting in an estimated RM50,000 loss. (Photo: Via FMT)
Kota Kinabalu: The Papar district just outside the Sabah state capital is the latest to be declared an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak area after the virus was detected in Kampung Kogopon and Kampung Purak. 

It is understood the disease was detected in the two villages on Sept 14 but Papar is only deemed an outbreak district now. 

Deputy chief minister Jeffrey Kitingan said the ASF virus was to blame for the deaths of 91 backyard pigs in the two villages over a two-week period, resulting in an estimated RM50,000 loss. 

“So far, the virus has only affected backyard pigs and not commercial pigs in the district’s four main commercial pig farms,” he said, in a statement here today. 

Kitingan, who is also the state agriculture and fisheries minister, said the commercial pig farms house approximately 9,400 pigs. 

Aside from Papar, two other districts have been declared ASF outbreak districts namely Kota Kinabalu on Sept 30 and Tenom in the interior on Oct 13. 

He said, however, like in Papar, the virus in both Kota Kinabalu and Tenom only affected backyard pigs and the cases are considered isolated. 

“At this time, the ministry is not considering culling all of the pigs in these districts yet because the cases are isolated and the pigs in commercial farms are ASF-free after several tests. 

“Thus, the ministry is confident the supply of pork in the local market will not be disrupted,” he said. 

To curb the spread of the virus, Kitingan said the ministry would continue to control the movement of pigs and pork products between districts. 

He added they will also intensify awareness campaigns and monitor activities in farms and abattoirs in all affected districts. 

Earlier this year, similar disease control measures were implemented in 19 other districts. 

The efforts paid off when seven of these districts were reclassified from red zones to yellow zones after no new ASF cases were reported in the last 60 days. 

The districts are Pitas, Kota Marudu, Beluran, Telupid, Tongod, Kinabatangan and Sandakan. 

“The ministry through the Veterinary Services Department will continue to monitor the ASF situation in the region and take appropriate action to ensure the adequacy of pork-based protein sources in Sabah is guaranteed,” said Kitingan.

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