January 2, 2019
Malaysia steps up ban on pork products over swine fever worries
The outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) has prompted Malaysia to step up the prevention of the disease from entering the country, The Star Online reported in late December.
In response to current developments, the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) will expand a temporary ban that prohibits import of pork products from six countries. Such products include canned pork, sausage casings, sliced pork, smoked ham and pork enzymes coming from China, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine.
According to Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin, the latest enhancement of the ban came following South Korea's recent discovery of the ASF virus in processed pork products.
"[The expansion of the ban] is to further protect our country from ASF and we are monitoring the situation very closely," Sim said. "Processed products are not supposed to have these viruses but somehow, they were detected, so we have to do more."
In addition, the DVS is monitoring Vietnam - from where Malaysia gets its supply of suckling pigs - although Sim stated that the country is not an infected area.
In September last year, Sim announced the ban on the importation of live pigs and frozen pork from six countries affected ASF outbreaks.
"While the virus does not affect humans, authorities here are taking proactive measures to prevent the risk of ASF, which could affect pig farms here," he said, adding that there were no evidence of ASF in Malaysia which remains free from the disease.
- The Star Online