TASEK GELUGOR, May 21 – The Penang government will impose the closed system for pig farms in the state to overcome the problems of pollution and foul smell from these farms. State Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman, Dr Afif Bahardin said since three years ago they had been meeting and discussing with over 150 pig farmers in the state on implementing the closed system.
“I myself had visited a closed-system farm in Perak and I found it to be more systematic and effective in protecting the environment. So I feel pig farmers in Penang should do the same. Since three years ago, the state government has been informing about it (the need to practise the closed system) to the pig farmers here, especially those in Kampung Selamat, which has 77 farms, and in Valdor, Sungai Bakap (50 farms),” he said.
Besides these two areas (on the mainland), he said there are also pig farms in Gertak Sanggul and Teluk Kumbar on the island side. He told this to reporters after visiting Sungai Kereh at Air Melintas Besar which is affected by pollution caused by the pig farms in Kampung Selamat. Residents in the area are facing river pollution and pong problems along a two-kilometre stretch since 20 years ago with no solution in sight.
“Waste water from the pig farms in Kampung Selamat which is situated about five kilometres from the river, flows into Sungai Kereh, causing the river water to be blackish and smelly. Due to the pollution problem, padi farmers in the area also face the problem of getting water supply,” said Dr Afif.
“Besides having to put up with the foul smell, they also faced ailments such as prolonged coughing, breathing problems and itchy skin from the environmental pollution. We hope the state government will immediately solve the problems caused by the pig farms. It has been too long for us, residents,” a residents’ representative, Rahim Daud,72, said.
Dr Afif, meanwhile, said the pig farmers needed to change from now and if they failed to implement the closed system, the state government would have to take stern action including closing their farms. He said the state government admitted that implementing the closed system could be costly but the pig farmers would be able to recoup after four years, while the system would be better for them and environment-friendly. Dr Afif said the farms in Penang reared about 300,000 pigs annually, with some being exported.