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Duck breeding farm cause of pollution to Sungai Kulim, Sungai Air Merah, says state exco

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

SEBERANG PERAI, Feb 19 — A duck breeding farm in Sungai Lembu here was found to have discharged farm waste into Sungai Air Merah which then flowed into Sungai Kulim in Kedah.

Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol assured the public that the site of the farm waste discharge was far from the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) water treatment plant.

“I hope the public remain calm as the pollution does not affect the water supply in Penang and it does not affect Kedah as well,” he told reporters after inspecting the site of the pollution and the two farms nearby, a duck breeding farm and a pig farm.

He said the site of pollution was at least 14km away from the PBAPP water treatment plant.

He said the pig farm that was initially suspected of releasing effluents into the river was found to have complied with regulations to discharge waste only into their waste treatment pond.

Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol speaks to reporters during a visit to the duck breeding farm in Sungai Lembu February 19, 2024. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol speaks to reporters during a visit to the duck breeding farm in Sungai Lembu February 19, 2024. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol speaks to reporters during a visit to the duck breeding farm in Sungai Lembu February 19, 2024. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

“Our investigations today found that it was the duck breeding farm that had discharged waste directly from their pipeline into the river and not the pig farm,” he said.

He said the waste discharged into the Sungai Air Merah flowed to Sungai Kulim and while the river flow crossed to Kedah, it flowed back to Penang so Kedah was not affected.

Yesterday, the Kedah Department of Environment (DOE) said that effluents were found to have been released into Sungai Air Merah which then flowed into Sungai Kulim.

The Kedah DOE suspected the effluents were released from a pig farm in Sungai Lembu village in the Seberang Perai Tengah (SPT) district.

Fahmi said the duck breeding farm, which has been around for 15 years, is currently unlicensed as the licensing process for poultry farms in Penang under the Poultry Farming Enactment started only on January 1 this year.

Penang Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Saira Banu Mohamed Rejab said they are only starting to issue licenses for poultry farms under the poultry farming enactment this year. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Penang Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Saira Banu Mohamed Rejab said they are only starting to issue licenses for poultry farms under the poultry farming enactment this year. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

Penang Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Saira Banu Mohamed Rejab said they are only starting to issue licenses for poultry farms under the poultry farming enactment this year. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

Penang Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Saira Banu Mohamed Rejab said only the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) can take action to issue a fine to the duck farm.

“We are only starting to issue license to poultry farms in Penang under the enactment and stern actions will be taken against farms that do not comply with regulations under the enactment,” she said.

She said the duck farm, with a population of 100,000 ducks, was found to have channelled waste water from the farm directly into the river.

“We will visit the farm to advise them to comply with regulations under the enactment,” she said.

MBSP veterinary officer Dr Mohammad Aklis Azmi said they will check the duck farm to see if they have any licenses issued by the city council.

“If they have valid licenses, we will issue them a show cause letter but if they are unlicensed, we will issue a fine of RM1,000,” he said.

As for the pig farm that was initially ordered to shut down after it was suspected of releasing the effluents, Fahmi said the farm is yet to comply with all requirements to obtain a license from the DVS.

He said they have till the end of March to comply with the requirements to obtain a license from DVS.