Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Need for management of artificial sounds and bird droppings
By ANDY CHUA
THE Sarawak Birdnest Supplier Association (SBSA) hopes that the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will act on new swiftlet farms operating in shophouses and residential properties.
Its vice-chairman Jesse Pang said that SBSA would welcome such action as the new farms were becoming a nuisance to the public.
“The council should stop people from operating new farm houses. Action should be taken against new farm operators and not the old ones,” he told StarMetro yesterday.
There were about 100 swiftlet farmers in Sibu in 2008 but the number has since sky-rocketed.
SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said on Monday that the council had received numerous complaints of noise pollution and bird droppings at the swiftlet farms and action would be taken under the Public Health Ordinance.
“Only new farm operators use loud music to attract the birds while the old operators do not need it as the birds are already dwelling in the farm houses. However, the council can act against any offenders,” he said.
On the issue of bird droppings, Pang said that most people had a wrong perception about it.
“It is important for the public and the council to understand that there are three types of birds involved,” he said.
The species were the white-bellied collocia which rests on buildings all day; the layang-layang which flies into towns from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and perches on trees, building ledges and electrical cables; and the white nest-house swiftlets.
The nests of the first two types had no commercial value, Pang said. They, however, caused endless problems with their droppings.
He said it was the nest-house swiftlets that people farmed.
“Most people have the wrong perception that the nest-house swiftlets are the culprits. This type is well-mannered and does not defecate anywhere except in the birdhouse.
“As the birdhouse is in one’s property all day, the operator is the one who does the cleaning, should there be bird droppings on the floor. Moreover the population of nest-house swiftlets is very low; less than 5% compared to the first two,” he said.
Pang, however, felt that acting against swiftlet farmers could affect the industry as it was lucrative, and the population of nest-house swiftlets should be allowed to grow.
He said the nest-house swiftlets could reduce the population of the other types of swiftlets.
Instead of acting against swiftlet farmers, it would be better to regulate the industry by instituting proper management of artificial sounds and bird droppings, he said.
Pang said, with 30 Government agencies in the final stages of standardising the edible birdnest industry, local authorities in the state should move forward and help the industry to grow.
Posted by asa at 5:26 AM