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Malaysian pig farmers awaiting compensation

185 Malaysian pig farmers are waiting to hear from the Federal Court in Putrajaya if their suit regarding alleged negligence arising from the Nipah virus epidemic a decade ago will go ahead.

The case is filed by 185 victims of the Nipah Virus outbreak in 1999, claiming for losses suffered during the epidemic. The Federal Government together with three state governments; Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan) are named as defendants in the suit.

The viral encephalitis outbreak which affected workers in the porcine industry, was caused by a then unknown virus later identified and tagged as Nipah . The outbreak occurred between September 1998 and May 1999. Of the 265 infected, 105 died.

The government ordered over one million pigs to be culled to contain the outbreak. It took some eight months to bring the epidemic under control.

Singapore immediately banned all pig imports from Malaysia. The ban remained in force ever since. Malaysia, which was the biggest pig exporter in Southeast Asia before the outbreak, is now a net importer.

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