Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swiftlet farming ban to be expanded in Sabah

by Sandra Sokial April 10, 2010, Saturday

KOTA KINABALU: Banning swiftlet farming will be expanded to other towns in Sabah, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said yesterday.The move was made following the state government’s decision to ban the rearing of swiftlets within the city as well as in Sandakan and Tawau areas due to its environmental effects, as well as being a public nuisance.

“With the banning issued by the state government, we hope the relevant authorities would act immediately to warn swiftlet farm owners to stop operating in these areas,” he said. Speaking to reporters after witnessing the swearing-in of the new Board of Directors of the Housing and Town Development Board here, he said action would be taken against those who fail to adhere to the regulations.

“We are not against swiflet farming. It can be done but not in the city or town or highly populated areas. “The state government is also aware that there is a national guideline on swiftlet rearing and we will be issuing it soon,” he said. Asked on whether there is any time frame for swiftlet farming owners to vacate the premises, Hajiji said he would leave it to the local authorities to handle.

Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai when announcing the State Cabinet decision on Wednesday stressed the banning should not be viewed as a discouragement to the swiftlet or bird’s nest farming industry. “On the contrary, the state government encouraged the rearing of swiftlets as an industry, but operators must do it in areas with low density such as in rural places.

“We know the outlook for the swiftlet industry is very good but we must consider public complaint  hence, we believe it will be more appropriate when done in rural areas,” he said.

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