Swiftlet-free zone on drawing board
GEORGE TOWN: The state government is working out a mechanism to relocate swiftlet farms from the city’s heritage enclave.
“A technical committee has been set up to come up with such a mechanism. The committee will also work out the technical aspect of implementing the three-year grace period for the relocation.
“Two other committees are also looking at ‘fine-tuning’ the national guidelines to fit the state’s needs and deal with the promotion of the bird nest industry,” said state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
“State Agriculture Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang and the state Veterinary Department have been tasked with looking into these issues,” he said adding that the state government had yet to set a date or identify a place for swiftlet farming.
Association for Swiftlet Nests Industry (ASNI) president Carole Loh expressed hope that decisions made by the committee would take into account the livelihood of the existing swiftlet farm operators in the heritage enclave.
“The move is akin to shutting down our business. Swiftlets are free flying birds. I must stress that it is impossible for us to move without affecting the birds, and it is not because we do not want to, but we cannot move,” she said.