SFA: Claims of import of poultry hit by bird flu are fake

Singapore does not import chilled or frozen poultry from farms in Pontian, Johor, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a Facebook post on Monday, as rumours of bird flu surrounding these poultry farms swirled.

Messages circulating on WhatsApp and social media claim that a poultry farm in Pontian has been affected by bird flu. One message also claims that the farm's poultry was slaughtered and sent to Singapore in two lorries.

These claims are not true, said SFA. There is no poultry slaughterhouse in Pontian accredited by SFA to export chilled or frozen poultry to Singapore, the agency added.

Only SFA-accredited slaughterhouses are allowed to export frozen poultry from Malaysia to Singapore. The frozen poultry must also be accompanied by valid health certificates issued by Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).

Although live poultry can be imported from approved farms in Pontian, these imports must also be accompanied by valid health certificates issued by the DVS.

They are also subject to border inspections by the National Parks Board's Animal and Veterinary Service to ensure the poultry is healthy before import. SFA will conduct sampling and testing as well.

So far, no avian influenza has been detected in poultry from Malaysia, said SFA.

Clara Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'SFA: Claims of import of poultry hit by bird flu are fake'. Print Edition | Subscribe