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Junz: No avian flu outbreak in Sabah

13th July, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: There is no outbreak of avian flu in Sabah, said State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, Junz Wong.

In a statement yesterday, he refuted a viral WhatsApp message claiming the avian flu had struck Sabah with poultry farms affected.

Junz said the rumour may have started after its Veterinary Services Department discovered an increased mortality rate among chickens at a farm in Tamparuli.

“(But) it is believed that (the deaths were) due to weather changes, as the farm is (exposed, which leaves its chickens) subject to inclement weather.

“However, the department will do further tests to (rule out) a disease outbreak,” he said yesterday. Meanwhile, following a meeting with Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, Wong said the state and federal agriculture ministries have agreed to expand downstream industries to create more job opportunities, and an awareness that modern farmers could make good incomes.

“We have also agreed to focus on poultry and cattle farming and their related downstream industries; as well as the planting of more tropical fruits for international export.

“(Both ministries) will also focus on paddy farming to ensure food security; and to expand seaweed production in Sabah,” he added.

Present at the meeting was Salahuddin’s deputy minister, Sim Tze Tzin.

Wong also said the federal government had agreed to end a RM50 million Integrated Agriculture Development Agency (IADA) project in Kota Belud, and instead use the funds to assist farmers in Sabah.

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