PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia has been declared free from African Swine Fever (ASF) since the virus was detected in the Asian continent on Aug 3, says Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin.

He said the ministry had taken proactive measures, among them an immediate import ban on all live pigs and frozen pork from six countries for the time being.

The six countries are China, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine, he told reporters after a meeting on ASF risks with stakeholders and pig farmers.

As such, the government views the matter seriously and has taken proactive measures to stop the entry of the virus to Malaysia via the import of pigs and pork products.

“We cannot allow the local pig industry to be threatened like the Nipah virus outbreak. We want the industry to understand the importance of taking care of the environment, reduce pollution and to be more competitive, he said.

According to Sim, since the outbreak of ASF was detected, seven foci have identified involving five provinces in China namely Liaoning, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had expressed concerns the disease may threaten the Korean peninsula and countries in Southeast Asia if China did not stop the outbreak fast.

“The domestic production of pork is insufficient to meet demand and the additional supply of 25,321 tonnes of pork is met with imports from Germany, China, Spain, Vietnam and several other countries, he said.

He said every application for pork import has to go through stringent analysis and risks by the Veterinary Services Department.