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. Malaysia culls 50,000 pigs over smell, pollution

by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Sept 4, 2007
Malaysian authorities on Tuesday began slaughtering some 50,000 pigs in southern Malacca state, saying that the stench and pollution from unlicensed farms had become unbearable.

Ismail Salleh, Malacca's state secretary, told AFP that the number of pigs in one state should not exceed 50,000, but that there were about 120,000 in Malacca, most raised on farms operating without licences.

"Locals were only unhappy with those farmers operating without proper licences and they could not stand the smell," he said. "And in certain areas, the water pollution was very bad."

More than 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslim and consider pigs and pork unclean. The country's pig farmers are mostly from Malaysia's sizeable Chinese population.

Ismail said that the livestock was being culled to protect public health. The 50,000 on unlicensed farms were being slaughtered immediately, while another 20,000 excess pigs on legal farms would be spared for now.

"The problems are not the pigs but irresponsible farmers who are thinking about only the business part," he said.

However, Malacca Livestock Rearers Association spokesman Albert Yong said he feared the government planned to target thousands more pigs on licensed farms.

"We can understand the government want to cull the pigs on unlicensed farms, but to have a target of killing more than 60 percent of the total number of pigs in Malacca does not make sense," he said.

"A few bad hats does not mean everyone is not following rules and regulation."

A spokeswoman for the Malaysian Swine Exporters Association said that each pig would sell at market for about 1,000 ringgit (285 dollars), and that farmers faced huge losses.

The carcasses were being destroyed and not sold for food, she said.

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Boffins in Ireland claim chewing gum breakthrough
Dublin (AFP) Sept 3, 2007
Irish scientists claimed Monday they were developing a solution to a costly problem that blights pavements and streets in cities throughout the world -- sticky patches of discarded chewing gum.

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