Penang prepares for the worst as ASF spreads

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Asian Agribiz reported earlier that Penang state’s Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has identified an area close to Sg Bakap as being potentially ASF-positive (see Figure 1).

Two farms in the vicinity have been reported hit by the virus, with one ordered demolished and all pigs culled.

DVS’ Sanitary and Phytosanitary Services (SPS), in charge of disease control, has taken over the area and blocked animal movement out of the infected zone.

The figure shows the 1-km radius around the infected Sg Bakap farm, while the green-marked numbered areas are other pig farms in the vicinity. Continued spread of the virus could doom all the farms.

Pigs can only be slaughtered in Penang’s licensed abattoir, and carcasses are not allowed for transport to another district or state. Farms in the controlled area are advised to slaughter pigs immediately, while farms experiencing high mortality shall immediately notify DVS, a message circulating in the area said.

Meanwhile, a biogas pig waste treatment project scheduled for construction in the area is now in limbo since ASF might decimate the pig population there.

The privately-funded USD 5 million project owned by Timeless Green was to alleviate the waste discharge issue faced by farmers and residents. With support from the state government, it would have been for completion this year. With the current ASF infections continuing, however, it may no longer be needed.

Editor, Asian Meat Magazine, Alternative Protein and Meat Insider, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the article, ‘Will Malaysia lose its Singapore chicken market?’, she analyzes whether Singapore’s dominant chicken exporter could lose a chunk of the market to countries like Indonesia because of policy instability.