(Penang, Sunday): As an immediate assistance to the pig farmers, who are suffering another crisis attack on their industry and livelihood as a result of Veterinary Services Department declaring that blood tests of pig farms in various tests have produced Nipah virus positive results, I call on the Federal and State Governments to be fully responsible for supplying the animal feeds for pig farms which are subject to quarantine and movement restrictions.
For the past nine months, the pig rearing industry had been suffering one blow after another, largely because of the misdiagnosis, mishandling and mistreatment of the viral encephalitis outbreak in Kinta, Perak last year, with the Health Minister, Datuk Chua Jui Meng insisting that it is Japanese encephalitis (JE) when it is the Hendra-like Nipah virus.
As a result, the pig industry suffered a catastrophe which should not have happened, with the pig-rearing industry in Bukit Pelanduk in Negri Sembilan, the biggest pig-rearing centre in Malaysia and South East Asia totally wiped out and 86 people unnecessarily lost their lives in Negri Sembilan.
Now, the rest of the pig rearing industry which had survived the misdiagnosis, mishandling and mistreatment of the so-called JE crisis are now fighting for its life - with the Veterinary Services Department decreeing that pig farms which are tested Nipah virus positive must have their pigs destroyed, making no distinction between a pig with Nipah antibody and a pig with the Nipah virus infection!
The pig farmers are rightly aggrieved at the failure to make such a distinction - as the pig farmers whether in Valdor new village in Penang or Paya Mengkuang in Malacca stressed that no human beings had fallen ill nor have pigs fallen sick or died as a result of Nipah virus or other mysterious disease.
Furthermore, the Veterinary Services Department have failed to be open and transparent in its blood tests of the pigs, refusing to release immediately all the results to the pig farms concerned.
At present, the Veterinary Services Department had drawn up the following
There should be a stop in the mass destruction of pigs as a result of
Nipah virus positive result for medical experts to establish whether a
pig with a Nipah antibody must mean that the pig is infected with Nipah
virus which could be transmitted to humans.
In the meantime, the Federal and State governments should be fully responsible for supplying the animal feeds for pig farms in the 1/2km high-risk control zone which are subject to quarantine and movement restrictions until a final decision is taken one way or another.