KOTA KINABALU: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, said Keningau has become the latest district to be declared an ASF-outbreak area.
He said this came after the virus was discovered in backyard pigs in Kg Bandukan Lama, where 24 pigs were reported dead due to the virus.
“Preliminary investigation suggested that the ASF may have been brought into the village by wild bearded pigs.
“Prior to the death of the backyard pigs, the DVS received a report of a dead wild bearded pig in a forest near the village,” said Dr Jeffrey, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, in a statement today.
According to him, Keningau has about 1,000 pigs in total, and all of them are at risk of infection due to insufficient biosecurity level.
“Therefore, the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is currently conducting awareness campaigns in the district to advise the community not to move their pigs or pork products without permission from the department,” he said.
Although the virus has been found in 12 districts, two districts, Pitas and Kota Marudu are now classified as ‘yellow index’ after no new ASF cases were reported in the past 60 days.
The disease is also being managed per the DVS’ standard operating procedure.
A yellow index zone means that pig repopulation is permitted as long as the farm improves its biosecurity and the pigs are sourced from ASF-free farms. However, the movement of pigs and pork products still requires authorisation from the DVS.
“My ministry through the DVS will constantly monitor developments on the ground and implement the necessary steps to prevent ASF from spreading to commercial farms,” said Dr Jeffrey.