DVS STILL INVESTIGATING WILD BEARDED PIGS’ DEATHS
DVS Sandakan collecting samples from a carcass.
4 FEB 2021
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Veterinary Services Department (DVS) is still investigating the cause of the deaths of some 30 wild bearded pigs and will only release the full result once all tests have been carried out.
In a statement here today, department director Dr. Peter Lee said the department’s vets are working on several other samples including testing them for possible poisoning.
So far, initial testing shows the samples were negative for infectious diseases.
He said the department had first learned of the case on January 28 during an online meeting with the Sabah Wildlife Department.
A total of 14 adult wild bearded pigs were found dead in the Kinabatangan region between December 2020 and January 2021.
DVS immediately organised a team and they were joined by the Wildlife Department and the Danau Girang Field Centre to investigate the matter including collecting samples.
“The team obtained samples from some of the carcasses, including bone marrow samples for PCR test for diseases and solid feed for toxicology test.
“However, due to continuous rain and the area is flood-prone, it was difficult to get samples of live wild bearded pigs from the same area where the carcasses were found,” he said.
He also reported that whatever caused the deaths of the wild bearded pigs, it did not affect domestic pigs that were also found in the area.
However, he said the department did not take any risks and extended its surveillance of the wild bearded pig herds from Kinabatangan to Beluran and Paitan.
This is in accordance with the provisions of the State legislation under Section 26 of the Animal Enactment 2015 which is to determine whether animal diseases are to be blamed for the deaths.
“I would advise everybody not to draw premature assumptions or spread rumours that could create panic among the public.
“At the same time, I would like to call on the public to immediately contact the nearest Veterinary Services Department if they have information on this case,” he said.