KOTA KINABALU: Authorities are getting more reports of wild boars and domestic pigs dying in the east coast areas of Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Authorities are getting more reports of wild boars and domestic pigs dying in the east coast areas of Sabah.
However, there is no confirmation so far by either the Sabah Veterinary Department or Sabah Wildlife Department that the deaths were linked to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Sabahs northern Pitas district where culling of livestock is taking place.
As of Thursday, staff of a lodge in Sabahs eastern Sukau area under Kinabatangan reported the deaths of three wild boars or bearded pigs within their compounds.
One of our staff from member lodges shared pictures of carcasses of wild boar found within their compound. He has alerted the wildlife department.
While waiting for test results, we ask that veterinary and wildlife departments alert the public on the possibility of Sabah having ASF and to educate and advise the public on precautionary measures to take to prevent its spread, Kinabatangan-corridor of life Tourism Operators Association (KiTa) president Alexander Yee said.
He said KiTA and its members were ready to assist if required.
Neither Sabah Veterinary Department director Peter Lee or Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga could be reached to comment on the latest reports of deaths involving both domesticated pigs and wild boars.
So far Sabah government has declared an outbreak in Sabahs northern Pitas district where confirmed cases of ASF were detected in some farms.
The death of pigs and wild boars were also reported in areas neighbouring Pitas districts which included Beluran and Kinabatangan.
On Feb 23, Deputy Chief Minister and state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the pigs in the affected Pitas area would be culled under the states Animal Enactment that also provides for controlling the movement of pigs and the selling of pork products to curb the spread of the disease.
He said they would be announcing the details of the actions soon.
Jeffrey said the Veterinary Department would kick off an awareness campaign to increase peoples understanding of the disease as well.
The disease is harmless to humans but is highly infectious among animals.
He said the culling of all affected pigs will be done as soon as possible because there is no cure or vaccine to prevent the disease.
The measures are expected to take about six months, Jeffrey said in explaining that the aim was to stop the disease from spreading to commercial pig farms based in Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Sandakan and Tawau.
Jeffrey said that Sabah pig products worth RM300mil a year was mainly for local consumption and there were no records of its export to other states in the country.