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Desire of pig farmers for 2009

Peninsular pig farmers are singularly minded in their quest to produce the best quality pork affordable by Malaysian consumers. The on going beta screening reisdue programmes instituted by the veterinary authority has resulted in more transparency on animal husbandry especially in the use of veterinary pharmaceuticals.

The recent revelations of 10 farms (5 farms in Melaka, 3 farms in Selangor, and one each in Perak and Penang) tested positive for residue of beta agonist and subsequently suspended with the mandatory “stop movement” order have made the industry more resilient. There are 597 pig farms in the Peninsular and the 10 farms constituted less than 2% of the total. The recalcitrant has been brought to the book and whilst the mandatory ban was in place the Ministry of Health discovered the 5 farms in Melaka actually did not intentionally use the ban substance. The beta agonist residue went into the system via contamination from an injectable antibiotic used for treatment for minor pig sickness. The farms purchased these bottles of antibiotic from a supplier who imported the product manufactured in Sichuan, China.

The revelation therefore serves to enforce to the farming community to be vigilant in the use of imported antibiotics. The farmers must be thoroughly sure the products they used are certified with GMP (good manufacturing product). With the air cleared, the community intends to move on to greater level of good animal of husbandry. At the end of day, the industry wants consumers to be confident of Malaysian products and to reject even imported frozen pork from country like Vietnam; nothing is better than freshly slaughtered pork in comparison to frozen pork from overseas.

In the same light, the industry agrees with the suggestion by the DVS Director General to move towards a less drug dependent husbandry. It can be done and with the 2009 resolution in hand, couple with the assistance by the Ministry of Agriculture & Agro- based Industry AND Ministry of Health, we can achieve the quest for better pork product to our consumers. In the meantime, the industry the consumers especially in the cities are being charged high retail prices by butchers and these do not reflect the farm prices sold by the farmers. At the time of economic doldrums, it is against the desire of the farming community to see pork prices so expensive because the butchers are taking advantage to profiteer. The Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumers’ Affair has been sensitized and they will assist the Association to ascertain in what manner consumers are helped.