Fadli, Batam – The Agriculture Ministry's Bukit Tinggi Veterinary Center has deployed officers to examine pig samples from a company's farm on Bulan Island in Batam, Riau Island. The African swine fever (ASF) virus was detected in some pig carcasses.
Singapore has stopped the import of live pigs from the island following the virus detection, with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) saying on Thursday that the carcasses were from a consignment of live pigs from Bulan Island and have been removed from the abattoir line.
The SFA has halted imports as investigations are ongoing. While African swine fever is a highly virulent and contagious disease in pigs, it does not infect humans, said the agency.
"Due to the current situation, there will be temporary disruptions to the supply of freshly slaughtered pork from April 23 onwards," said the food agency, as quoted by Channel News Asia.
Aris Hadiyono, head of the Tanjung Pinang Quarantine Facility in Riau Islands, said veterinary officials arrived in Batam on Monday from Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra, and were joined by ministry officials from Jakarta to conduct examinations on the PT Indo Tirta Suaka farm.
Aris said pig carcasses from the island were mainly exported to Singapore, with a low volume delivered for local consumption.
"We will decide whether to stop delivery for local consumption pending the veterinary agency examinations," Aris told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
PT Indo Tirta Suaka farm occupies a total of 1,500 hectares of land in Batam, managing 240,000 farm pigs. The company typically sent between 900 to 1,300 live pigs to Singapore at S$2 (US$1.5) per kilogram.
According to the SFA, live pigs from Bulan Island make up about 15 percent of Singapore's total pork supply.
The country's pork supply is "well diversified" with more than 20 sources, said the SFA, which include live pigs from Sarawak and chilled or frozen pork from Australia, Brazil, Denmark and New Zealand. (dre)