African Swine Fever Virus DNA found in canned luncheon pork from China—Sarawak bans all pork products from the mainland

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In light of recent African Swine Fever (ASF), Malaysian state Sarawak decided to put a ban on pork and pork-based products from affected countries that have been affected by the viral outbreak including China.

The ban was made after a series of tests conducted by The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) showed one of the 17 canned luncheon pork samples imported from China had DNA of African Swine Fever Virus, as reported by New Straits Times.

The DNA of the virus was detected by the department’s Veterinary Public Health during a laboratory test using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (q-PCR) last Friday.

In a statement released by the department, they confirmed that all products containing pork and pork-based have been banned from being imported into Malaysia

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“So far, there is no African Swine Fever infection in pigs has been reported in the state. The detection of the virus does not change Sarawak ASF-free status,” said the department in their statement.

“Sarawak state has enforced all pork and pork products import ban from ASF-infected country, including canned pork products from China until further notice.”

In their statement, they added that DVSS would be conducting checks at all supermarkets and the affected products would be removed. Meanwhile, products in shipment would need to undergo a ‘hold-test-release’ check to ensure they are free from the ASF virus.

“Products in shipment will undergo “hold-test-release” mechanism to ensure they are free from ASF virus contamination.”

So far, 220 kilograms of animal products have been seized at all entry points brought by travellers. Compounds were issued due to the violation of import-export conditions under the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a viral outbreak affecting domestic and wild pigs and can be spread through live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products

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The virus can also spread via contaminated fomites such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, and equipment as it has a high environmental resistance.

Unlike classical swine fever “Hog Cholera”, there are no known vaccines against ASF yet. However, the virus does not pose a risk to human health according to World Organisation For Animal Health.

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