Penang may take 2 years to be declared free of ASF, says Phee


PENANG will only be able to be declared free of African Swine Fever (ASF) after sampling and testing of all farms show negative results, says state Welfare and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.


Phee (PH-Sungai Puyu) told the State Legislative Assembly today that it may take two years before Penang is declared free from ASF.


He was responding to an oral question by Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubuk) who wanted to know about the problem since the state has introduced a closed system that must be strictly followed by pig farmers.


Phee said as of Feb 17 this year, a total of 16 pig farms in two districts, namely south Seberang Perai and central Seberang Perai, had outbreaks of ASF.  Out of the 16 pig farms, 14 were in south Seberang Perai and two were in central Seberang Perai.


“A total of 14,385 pigs were destroyed with an estimated loss of RM14.7 million,” Phee said.


He added that to save the pig farming industry in Penang, the state Veterinary Services Department (JPVPP) would be given more comprehensive powers to control the spread of the ASF disease.


Story by K. H. Ong

Pix by Siti Nuratikah Rahmat