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Johor Faces Issues on Being Malaysia's Largest Chicken Producer

09 December 2013

MALAYSIA - Johor has one of the densest chicken population in the country with more than 66 million birds or 26.45 per cent compared with 251 million nationwide according to the statistics by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry last year.

While enjoying the status as the largest chicken producer in Malaysia, the state is also facing worrying housefly problems, reports The Star Online.

Poor management of livestock sites is alleged to be the source of the problem that has been going on for years.

Johor Veterinary Services Department director Dr Kamarudin Md Isa described the fly problem as "a chronic issue" and needed serious attention from farm operators.

At least 10 chicken farm operators, mainly contract farmers, were ordered to seize operation since early this year due to bad waste and manure management.

Dr Kamarudin said his department and the state government has taken a few proactive measures to address the problem including setting up of special team – Rapid Action Team (RAT) end of last year in Johor Baru.

RAT has 10 four-wheel drive vehicles ferrying fly and larvae elimination equipment with total cost of RM1.5 million.

"The enforcement and response team under RAT manage to reduce fly problem at some areas including Machap, a hotspot zone that has seven million chickens in 32 chicken farms.

"More than RM100,000 in fines have been collected by the department since RAT was set up.

"To enhance the effectiveness of fly elimination effort, the RAT has been decentralised to all districts in the state," he said in a recent interview.

The decentralised operation was launched by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin at Kluang recently.

Dr Kamarudin said the RAT vehicle complete with equipment would be stationed at the district offices and respond to complaints at their respective areas.

"When there is a complaint, the vehicle will depart with the department staff and enforcement officers.

"Spraying and fogging will be conducted at the identified livestock sites by the staff, while enforcement officers will collect evidences of the flying pest infestation, including larvae sample, at the alleged scene," he said, adding that compound would be issued if the operators were found to have failed to comply with the operating standard.

Besides fly elimination operation and enforcement, RAT emphasised on educating farm operators on appropriate flying pest prevention and control techniques, said Dr Kamarudin.

"Additional cost in chicken waste management is always the excuse given by many farmers despite having to face the enforcement officers and compound from time to time.

"Some of them, especially contract farmers, do not know that it is a must for them to dispose chicken waste according to the standard procedure and some others do not have the knowledge to do so.

"They must know that it is the farm operators’ responsibility to ensure their farm is appropriately managed to avoid breeding of larvae and flies," he said, adding that RAT is also playing a role in increasing awareness about the importance of good farming management.

Meanwhile, Semerang assemblyman Datuk Samsol Bari Jamili said he was pleased to see the new approach by the government by decentralising the RAT.

He said the badly affected villages include Desa Jaya and Kampung Haji Ghafar.

"When the flies come, the villagers can’t even eat or cook in their own homes because there are just too many flies everywhere.

"Now it has spread to all districts, we wish to see a quick response from the RAT to resolve the fly problems and we would like to see how fast can they act following complaints lodged by villagers," he said.

"We are hoping to see proactive measures taken by the RAT, improve the enforcement to curb the problem and make sure the farm operators follow the necessary steps in managing the chicken waste.

"There are chicken operators who are not bothered despite repeated summons issued by the authorities," he said.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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