A way to solve pig waste issue
I REFER to the news report, “Seafood ‘gone to the pigs’” (Sept 15, The Star) in which it was reported that marine biologists warn that because the beach of Gertak Sanggul is a sheltered bay, extreme bacterial blooms can infect Gertak Sanggul’s seafood with harmful pathogens from salmonella bacteria to E coli and even Hepatitis A virus.
When I was in the Veterinary Services Department, we found a high level of copper in pig waste, which can cause copper toxicity. The high level of copper is due to the copper content in the anthelmintics (worm treatment) the pigs are regularly dosed with.
Pig farming, unlike ruminant (cattle, sheep and goat) farming can be compared to an assembling industry. The feed ingredients for pigs like soya bean, wheat pollard and fish meal are all imported and not locally grown or sourced. The genetic material - the breeding stock of pigs - are imported too.
Feed for ruminant farming on the other hand like grass, oil palm kernel cake, ricebran, pineapple bran and other agricultural by-products are all sourced locally and does not involve foreign exchange. Although poultry farming also involves imported feed ingredients and imported grand-parent stock, there is no pollution problem because poultry droppings can be sold as manure to vegetable farms. When reared in closed poultry houses, there is no odour pollution.
It would be better for us to import frozen pork from Vietnam or other countries. After all, other meat such as beef, sheep and goat meat are all imported frozen. Singapore completely banned pig farming as it was unable to solve the pig waste pollution problem and has resorted to importing frozen pork.
Most importantly, there will be no pig waste pollution problems (rivers, waterways and odour pollution) which are impossible to solve.