Fresh pork from Sarawak available at supermarkets, wet markets in S’pore
Singaporeans can buy fresh pork from Sarawak in supermarkets from Tuesday, and from wet markets on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after live pig imports from Indonesia were stopped.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Koh Poh Koon said operations at an abattoir in Jurong have since resumed with a shipment of live pigs from Sarawak, Malaysia.
He said: “The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has worked closely with our local abattoir to sanitise the premises and surrounding environment following the detection of ASF (African swine fever) in pigs from Pulau Bulan, Indonesia.”
The Jurong abattoir was closed for cleaning after the discovery of African swine fever in a consignment of live pigs from Pulau Bulan, in Indonesia’s Riau Islands province, on April 19. This is the first time African swine fever has been detected in pigs imported into Singapore.
The deadly swine disease, which does not infect humans, is highly contagious among wild boars and pigs.
SFA immediately stopped the import of live pigs from the Indonesian island, which accounts for about 15 per cent of Singapore’s total pork supply, and about two-thirds of Singapore’s supply of freshly slaughtered pork.
Singapore, however, imports pork from more than 20 sources, including live pigs from Sarawak in East Malaysia, as well as chilled and frozen pork from Australia, Brazil and other countries.
In his Facebook post, Dr Koh also thanked industry players and stallholders for adapting and switching to alternative pork options such as chilled and frozen pork amid the temporary stoppage.
On Tuesday, the Indonesian authorities confirmed that pigs at the farm on Pulau Bulan that supplied livestock to Singapore had been infected with African swine fever, and that the pigs were likely to have been infected by a new strain of the virus.
When asked how long it would take for the farm to resume production and exports, a veterinary authority official at Riau Islands province told The Straits Times that it would likely take several months to bring in fresh supplies of livestock and to get production levels back to normal.