BY Hakim Hayat
INSPECTIONS carried out by the Agriculture and Agrifood Department at several livestock farms and abattoirs around Mukim Pengkalan Batu revealed hygiene violations, as the department steps up its monitoring efforts following complaints of fly infestation by nearby residents.
The matter was disclosed during a meeting between the department and mukim residents last Saturday, where they discussed the issue of fly infestation in the area where several livestock farms and abattoirs are located.
Director of Agriculture and Agrifood Hajah Aidah binti Haji Mohd Hanifah said they issued warning letters this year to three livestock farms and two abattoirs, following joint inspections carried out by their task force which discovered uncontrolled fly breeding at the locations.
The owners of the premises were ordered to immediately clean up the surrounding areas and coops, ensure that there was no stagnant water in the area, and also ensure the proper disposal of waste at designated landfills.
Failure to do so would result in a compound fine for littering under the Minor Offences Act (Chapter 30), and also under the Environmental Protection and Management Order 2016.
ABOVE & BELOW: One of the farms being monitored by the Agriculture and Agrifood Department; and a department staff spraying larvicide. – PHOTOS: AGRICULTURE AND AGRIFOOD DEPARTMENT
The department also said that it recently issued compound fines to a chicken livestock farm and an abattoir, for littering.
To manage the fly infestation issue, the department issued several directives, including a temporary ban using chicken droppings from chicken livestock farms as organic fertilisers in vegetable, fruit and flower farms around the area; ordering chicken livestock farms to discharge chicken droppings at the Sungai Paku Landfill in Belait, as recommended by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe); and also the temporary ban on the sale and supply of the organic fertilisers to farmers in Mukim Pengkalan Batu and the surrounding areas.
The department stated that it is also cooperating with residents in eliminating fly larvae at identified breeding sites using larvicides. In addition, the residents have been asked to identify breeding areas and inform the department of any instances of the use of organic fertilisers during the ban period.
The department is also actively spraying larvicides in fly breeding sites at several rearing and plantation farms, while at the same time introducing the practice of effective micro-organism (EM) as a supplement in the water for livestock consumption.
The EM practice has been used in a number of countries and is said to be effective in reducing the stench from livestock droppings. Currently, 14 livestock farms in the country are experimenting with the practice, to help reduce fly breeding sites.
According to the department, the issue of cleanliness at livestock farms and abattoirs is a matter of serious concern to the Brunei Government.
“His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the establishment of a taskforce to tackle the issue of cleanliness in livestock farms and abattoirs in 2018,” said the department in its press statement.
“The taskforce comprises multi-agencies including the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism; Environmental Health Services, Ministry of Health; JASTRe, Ministry of Development; District Offices under the Ministry of Home Affairs; and Halal Food Control Division, Ministry of Religious Affairs. This taskforce was established to jointly manage the issue of cleanliness in these areas and at the same time control fly infestation.”
Among those present at the meeting held at the Agriculture Development Unit Office in Kampong Lampaki, Kilanas were Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari as well as the village heads of Kampong Masin, Kampong Junjongan and Kampong Bebuloh and the representatives of nearby schools and village consultative councils in the area.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin