Swine flu detected in Malaysian livestock

KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has detected seropositive samples of the Swine Influenza H1N1 (SIV H1N1) virus, or swine flu, in commercial livestock and wild boars via the national surveillance programme.

The department, however, said that the seropositive pig breeds show no symptoms of disease and are not at risk of spreading the infection to humans.

The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI), through the DVS and the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS), had previously taken various measures to prevent the disease from entering the country.

Among them are restrictions on the importation of pigs and pig products from infected and at-risk countries, as well as preventive measures including monitoring and inspections at the country's main gateways.

The DVS said awareness campaigns on swine flu have also been launched in all states, and livestock breeders are urged to increase farm biosecurity through preventive measures such as not visiting infected pig farms.

The swine industry in Malaysia currently has a livestock population of 1,748,547, worth some RM5 billion, being bred on 614 commercial farms, involving about 5,000 workers, it added. - Bernama

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