SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan has frozen the issuance of licenses to new chicken farm operators in the state for the whole of 2017 to ensure public health safety.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the freeze is also to compel existing chicken farm operators to convert their farms into cleaner and more hygienic enclosed farm systems, from open-air farm systems, which could be detrimental to health.
"The state government has, since 2002, directed existing chicken breeders to convert to the enclosed farm system, but there are still those who are stubborn, and have not yet migrate to the enclosed system.
“I have given them more than ample time, and enforcement activities are now on-going," Mohamad told reporters here yesterday after chairing the state's exco meeting.
He said the state has more than 100 contract chicken farmers supplying big companies.
Negri Sembilan is also a net exporter of chicken and eggs, with a current capacity of more than 160 per cent.
"Sometimes, I attend wedding functions, and the food is swarmed by flies, causing much embarrassment to the host.
“These big companies and their contract farmers are making huge profits, while the people swat away the flies, which originate from open chicken farms with exposed chicken droppings,” he said.
Mohamad added that the big chicken companies make huge profits, but are too stubborn to convert to the safer enclosed system at the expense of the people, and are acting as if they are “untouchable.”
"I will soon go down to the ground, together with enforcement teams, and we will then see who is the one that is untouchable," said Mohamad.
He stressed, however, that the freeze has nothing to do with the H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Kelantan.