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Indonesian farm still waiting for Singapore's approval to resume live pig exports

Straits Times - June 6, 2024

Judith Tan, Singapore – The Indonesian farm on Pulau Bulan that supplies two-thirds of Singapore's freshly slaughtered pork has still not received the green light to resume export of live pigs to the Republic.

The exports stopped on April 19, 2023, after Singapore detected African swine fever in a consignment of pigs from the island, located in the Riau Islands province.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board, told The Straits Times on June 5 that they will work with Indonesia's Directorate-General of Livestock and Animal Health Services to assess if and when live pig imports will resume.

An SFA spokeswoman said in the e-mail reply that imports can resume after SFA and AVS have assessed and confirmed that pigs in the farm are free of African swine fever.

"This would be done through evaluation of the farm's cleaning and disinfection measures, biosecurity measures put in place, (and) surveillance of the pigs restocked on the farm," she said.

"We will verify these and begin official assessment of the farm for the resumption of exports via documentary assessments and on-site inspections, once the farm has completed re-stocking and put in place the necessary measures."

Exports from the farm account for 15 per cent of Singapore's total pork supply.

SFA, in a Facebook post on May 9, 2023, wrote that it could take up to a year before the Indonesian farm could export live pigs to the Republic, after the detection of African swine fever in a consignment. This was the first time that African swine fever had been detected in pigs imported into Singapore.

The disease does not affect humans, but is highly contagious and deadly to wild boars and pigs. The disease, which spread to the Asia-Pacific region in 2018, has led to the culling of millions of pigs in a bid to curb its spread.

Singapore's import conditions for pigs, pork and pork products are based on science, and take reference from guidelines and standards from the World Organisation for Animal Health.

SFA also requires regions that export raw pork to Singapore to be free of the virus that causes African swine fever, which can be transmitted through raw meat from infected pigs.

Processed pork products from areas with outbreaks, however, are allowed to be imported and sold, provided they have been heat-treated to inactivate the virus.

Singapore imports pork from more than 20 sources, including live pigs from Sarawak in East Malaysia, and chilled or frozen pork from Australia, Brazil and other countries.

SFA is constantly working with the industry to diversify import sources. In 2023, six suppliers from Mexico were approved to export pork to Singapore.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/live-pig-imports-from-indonesian-farm-still-awaiting-singapore-s-approval-to-resum