Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eye on swiftlet breeding premises

LABIS: Swiftlet breeding premises must have a computer chip detailing their locations so that the authorities can identify them if the public lodges complaints about noise and health pollution. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong said the tracking system, which was imposed following the introduction of the National Swift­let Industry Guidelines (1GP) approved by the Cabinet recently, would enable the ministry to track them via GPS (global positioning system).

“It will be difficult to locate the premises if the chip is not installed because many do not have details of their addresses, including road names. “The ministry has received many complaints from the public. “They are worried about the impact of these premises on their health. “Such places can create environment and noise pollution, too,” he said after closing a swiftlet industry seminar yesterday.

Chua said swiftlet breeders in Negri Sembilan had started to install the chip and he hoped all industry members would follow suit in the next three years. “Malaysia’s current export of bird’s nest is expected to reach RM5billion by 2020 and it is important that the industry be regulated to meet all the requirements to allow healthy growth,” he added. Chua said swiftlet operators must also seek certification (GAHP) from the Veterinary Services Depart­ment before they could export their produce.

He added that China, one of the largest importers of bird’s nest from Malaysia, wanted regulations to be in place to ensure proper product quality control was maintained. Chua said the guidelines also covered other aspects like the location of premises, processing of bird’s nest, importing and exporting procedures, and the creation of environment-friendly premises.

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