Friday December 8, 2017
02:25 PM GMT+8

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Dr Mah Hang Soon (right) said the state would not compel the farmers to sign up with any of the companies that gave the briefing, saying all that mattered was that farm effluents did not enter the local ecosystem.— Picture by Marcus PheongDr Mah Hang Soon (right) said the state would not compel the farmers to sign up with any of the companies that gave the briefing, saying all that mattered was that farm effluents did not enter the local ecosystem.— Picture by Marcus PheongIPOH, Dec 8 — Forty-eight pig farmers risk being shut down if they fail to comply with the criteria set by the government come 2018, according to a state official.

To date, 53 of the state’s 114 farmers have begun meeting the standards that include modern pig farming zones (enclosed farming), zero-sewage discharge and a buffer zone of at least 200m from residential areas, schools, places of worship and other public facilities, as well as good animal husbandry practices.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a bipartisan committee meeting at the State Secretariat building here today, Perak executive council member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said 13 have fully complied with the set criteria, with three now equipped with biogas plants to treat animal waste.

Another 10 have also started employing modern pig farming zones.

“There are no two ways to it. The 48 have to comply as the authorities have been engaging the farmers since 2014,” he said.

Perak has the biggest pig farming industry in the country, supplying 36.77 per cent of the nation’s pork.

Perak Animal Husbandry Association president David Lee, who was also present, said members who have started upgrading their farm are almost 50 per cent done and was confident they would meet the 2018 deadline.

On the 48 farmers who have yet to comply, Lee said they were operating on state land.

“They (will) need to engage with the state government to have their operations relocated,” he added.

Earlier during the meeting, farmers were briefed on biogas plants by three companies.

Dr Mah said the state would not compel the farmers to sign up with any of the companies that gave the briefing, saying all that mattered was that farm effluents did not enter the local ecosystem.

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