Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Swiftlet farmer: Allow swiftlet farming in towns

Posted on April 9, 2010, Friday by Borneo Post

KOTA KINABALU: Swiftlet farming in town areas should be allowed as it is accepted in many major townships in Malaysia.A swiftlet farmer, George Ng, in stressing this said the Sabah government should take heed of the federal government’s guideline on swiftlet farming, adding towns such as Ipoh, Johor Bahru and others in Peninsular Malaysia are successfully doing it.

“I do not understand why major towns like Sandakan or Tawau or KK cannot do it?” said Ng, who responded to a statement by Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai on the banning of swiftlet farming in towns and cities. Yee, in the statement said the ban was due to the effect of swiftlet farming on health and environment.

Ng said currently they were waiting for guidelines from the federal government to share knowledge with the state government on proper swiftlet farming practices.

“If the state government bans swiftlet farming within the town areas, how can we, the owners, kill the birds because it is against the law? “Birds are not like furniture that can be easily moved from one place to another,” said Ng.

He pointed out that even the World Health Organisation had given the green light to swiftlet farming in town areas, adding: “So how can the state government use this as a reason to disallow us to do such farming in the city area?”

He stressed that other birds, such as pigeons, which are mostly found at Gaya Street, are even dirtier and noisier at night.

“Most swiftlet farms in town area use music to attract these birds to return ‘home’ but it will be turned off at 7.30pm. “I think even the karaoke centres are more noisier than our music,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Supreme Councilor Datuk David Chong, in a statement here yesterday said the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) was applying double standards when it came to swiftlet farming. He said City Hall had closed down a swiftlet farm in Inanam but allowed at least two similar farms downtown.

“There are swiftlet farms right under the nose of DBKK but they never took action despite numerous complaints,” he said adding one such farm was found at Gaya Street and another at Lorong Dewan which was close to the Community Centre.

He said DBKK must be fair to all no matter who they are whether they got connection or otherwise.

As such, Chong said the decision of the state government to ban swiftlet rearing within the city area must be adhered to immediately.

He said DBKK’s refusal to take action to close the swiftlet farms at Gaya Street and Lorong Dewan had raised suspicions.

Chong said the swiftlet farms at Gaya Street and Lorong Dewan must be closed down without further delay not because the state government had made a decision but such farms could harm people’s health.

According to him, DBKK should not wait until someone dies of bird related diseases before taking action, which would already be too late.

Apart from that, he said swiftlet farms within the city were also dirtying the surrounding areas and polluting the environment.

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