KUALA LUMPUR: The Swiftlet Industry Guideline, expected to be presented to the Cabinet next week, will give the industry a much-needed framework to operate in a sustainable manner.
The guideline, if accepted, will put Malaysia ahead of leading bird’s nest producers like Indonesia and Thailand.
“It will be the first swiftlet industry guideline in the world,” said Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin. The swiftlet industry is worth RM1.5bil annually.
The guideline, he added, would provide the framework to supervise the industry in a holistic way, including in terms of licensing, sampling, production and export of swiftlet bird’s nest abroad, particularly to China.
Dr Aziz said the guideline had the full support of the Health, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, and the Housing and Local Government ministries. The speed at which the industry grew over the last few years has resulted in a major dilemma over the licensing of swiftlet-rearing premises in shophouses, due to the health risk, smell and noise.
Federation of Swiftlet Nest Merchants Association chairman Datuk Beh Heng Seong said the guideline would resolve the problem as owners of premises would have to agree with the conditions if they wanted to remain in business. “It will become a standard for all local authorities,” he said.
Malaysia has about 50,000 swiftlet premises producing over 12 tonnes of bird’s nest monthly.
One kilogram of bird’s nest can fetch RM4,000. – Bernama