Keeping an eye on pork products after swine fever alert

Deputy agriculture minister Sim Tze Tzin inspected a pig farm in June as part of checks for African swine fever. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Government agencies are to monitor and carry out inspections on premises suspected to be smuggling in pork and pork products, after the African swine fever virus was detected in a luncheon pork product imported from China.

The agriculture ministry said that although Malaysia is still considered free of African swine fever, the public have been advised not to buy pork products originating from countries which are at risk.

“Legal action will be taken against those caught bringing in the products illegally,” the ministry said.

African swine fever outbreaks have been confirmed in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea and Timor Leste. It is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease which attacks domestic and wild pigs and can cause death within two to 10 days.

However, the disease only affects animals and not humans.

Yesterday, Sarawak banned imports of pork and pork products from countries hit by African swine fever after test on the luncheon pork from China.

The ministry said Malaysia had banned imports of pigs and pork products from China on Nov 12 last year and from Poland and Belgium, Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Laos between January and August.