Pig farmers in Perak are required to put in place enhanced standards of hygiene at their farms by March.
Failure to do so could result in closure, said state Public Health, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon yesterday.
This new directive follows the approval of the Control of Pig Farming (Licensing) Regulations 2009, which was passed by the Perak state executive council in October.
Dr Mah said the regulations were introduced to streamline the various standards relating to health and the environment in the state's pig farming industry.
"While self-regulating is welcomed, the state realised that there is a need to monitor the industry within the ambit of the law, namely, the Control of Pig Farming Enactment (1992).
"Therefore, the state government has decided to introduce the regulations to ensure that the highest standards on hygiene, bio-security and environment-impacting practices are implemented by the pig farmers," he said after discussions with a group of pig farmers.
There are 143 pig farmers in the state who supply 35 per cent of Malaysia's pork demand. The production is valued at RM450 million (S$183.9 million) a year.
Dr Mah, who was joined by Perak Veterinary Department's director Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam in the discussion, said the state government, however, would educate the pig farmers on the need to improve the standards at their farms before enforcing the regulations.
He said the state government decided on the regulations after numerous complaints on environmental pollution caused by the pig farms and to safeguard the industry from collapsing due to diseases like Influenza A (H1N1) and that caused by Nipah virus.
"Since pig farming is the second biggest animal farming after the poultry industry, there is an urgent need to regulate the industry so that Perak farmers can continue to reap benefits from their businesses in the state.
"The regulations will enable the Veterinary Department to monitor the use of drugs in the industry, which could harm the health of the public, especially the consumers."
Dr Mah said he would also discuss setting up pig farming areas with the state government.