Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stressed, starved livestock die in Sarawak

AUDIT REPORT Being a goat, sheep or a cow in the care of the Sarawak Agriculture Department can be a tenuous thing if the death rates at some special rearing stations are anything to go by. 

NONELivestock deaths - due to stressed or starvation - at the department's special rearing stations were as high as 74 percent, when the acceptable rate is between 5 to 10 percent, the Auditor-General's Report 2012 states. 

While only 26 percent of its goats survived in 2010, the Karabungan rearing station saw more than half of its cattle die the following year. The cattle survival rates improved remarkable the next year with only 12 of its 182 cows dead. 

In Karabungan, the animals died from “falling into feeding troughs, weakness or stress, parasites, liver fluke (and) getting stuck in mud”. 

NONEThe death rates were lower but still above acceptable rates in the Layar sheep rearing station, with only a quarter of the animals dying. Similar figures were seen for cattle, goat and sheep in Kabuloh. 

Among the reasons for the deaths in these two stations were food poisoning, starvation or “trapped to death”. 

In response, the department said the animals were “leftovers” from a poor breed, and were too old and should have been culled. 

Fertiliser paid for but not delivered

The auditor-general also found that the Sarawak Agriculture Department had in 2009 and 2010 paid RM2.57 million for more than 100,000 bottles of herbicide that it never received.

The department ordered RM14.65 million worth of Ammofos fertiliser but a contract was never drawn up to keep the supplier in line.

NONEThe fertiliser was eventually delivered late, by up to 107 days, thus rendering it useless as it had missed the optimum fertilising period in the plantation cycle.  

“The audit estimates that supplier Pertubuhan Peladang Negeri Sarawak could have been fined between RM370,000 to RM170,000, while supplier Syarikat Jaya Agrochem Sdn Bhd could have been fined RM200,000 for the delays,” the report reads. 

Separately, the auditor-general lauded the Sarawak government's Samalaju Industrial park for having attracted RM21.19 billion in private investments, resulting in 11,679 jobs. 

However, the audit found that the projects were behind schedule and the quality of work is sub-par, including uneven and cracked surfaces of new roads.

~ Malaysiakini

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