The Sabah Veterinary Services Department (DVS) has declared a potential outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Pitas following the discovery of the virus among pigs in the district, according to Malaymail and The Straits Times.
The outbreak would mark the first reported cases of the disease, which is fatal to pigs but harmless for humans, in Malaysia.
On 23 February, Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, said pigs in the Pitas district would be culled under a state enactment, with more than 2,000 facing a culling to prevent further spread.
“Initial tests showed that eight of the 13 samples collected from the pigs in Pitas showed positive results for ASF,” said Mr Kitingan, in a statement, adding that results of tests looking for the disease in DNA sequencing would be available in a day or two.
In addition, according to The Straits Times, Kinabatangan Corridor of Life Tourism Operators Association (KiTA) president Alexander Yee said on Friday 26 February: “One of our member lodges has shared pictures of wild boar carcasses found within its compound. The Wildlife Department has been alerted,”
“While waiting for test results, we ask that the Veterinary and Wildlife Departments alert the public to the possibility of an ASF outbreak. They should educate and advise the public on precautionary measures to take to prevent its spread,”