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Papers from poster presentation (APHCA 02/8)

Malaysian initiatives in the conservation and sustainable development of farm animal genetic resources

(by A.K. Raymond, Industry Services Development Division, DVS, Malaysia)


In 1994, two years after becoming a signatory to the convention on biological diversity, Malaysia was offered the opportunity to take part in a 12-nation regional FAO project entitled conservation and use of animal genetic resources in Asia and the Pacific. Malaysia has benefited through the experiences gathered from being part of this project. In addition to this, Malaysia has taken various initiatives to strengthen the national conservation effort. The following are the conservation initiatives implemented by Malaysia:

- Policy formulation

Malaysia has formulated the national policy on domestic animal diversity. Further to this was the development of the farm animal genetic resources management plan for Malaysia. These documents are being used as reference material for the development and management of animal genetic resources on government farms in Malaysia.

- Legislation

There are several laws governing various aspects of conservation. The oldest law is the animal ordinance, 1953. State laws directly addressing conservation issues include the sarawak biodiversity (access, collection and research) regulations, 1998 and the sabah biodiversity enactment, 2000.

- Maintaining malaysian database on FAnGR

Breed information on Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR) of countries is being maintained on the DAD-IS (Domestic Animal Diversity Information System) system developed and serviced by the FAO. Countries have the responsibility of updating records of their local breeds. Malaysian breed information has been recorded and updated using the Internet. In 2001/02, an extensive breed survey was conducted in Malaysia. Outputs from this survey will be added to the DAD-IS database in due course.

- Undertaking in situ conservation projects

In situ conservation is the maintenance and development of live populations of animals in their adaptive environment, or as close to it as is practically feasible. Breeds currently being conserved in situ include Bali cattle (at Institute Haiwan, Kluang), Kedah-Kelantan cattle (at Tanah Merah farm), Local Indian Dairy cattle (at Tersat farm), Malin sheep (at Jeram Pasu farm) and Sambar deer (at Institute Haiwan, Kluang).

- Undertaking ex situ conservation projects

Ex situ conservation involves the preservation of animals in a situation removed from their normal habitat. Collection and freezing in liquid nitrogen of AnGR in the form of semen, embryos or ova is considered as ex situ conservation. So is the captive breeding of animals in zoos. Malaysia maintains a semen bank at the national institute of animal biotechnology. Frozen semen stored are from Kedah-Kelantan cattle, Mafriwal cattle, Bali cattle and Swamp buffalo.

- Undertaking genetic characterization studies

Characterization of AnGR involves all activities associated with the description of AnGR aimed at better knowledge of these resources and their state (FAO, 1999). It entails among others, the identification of national breeds; determining baseline and more detailed surveying information of populations; identifying AnGR at risk or are endangered. In Malaysia, on-going research is being conducted on genetic characterization of several breeds of farm animals.

- Networking

Networking on a national basis is now made possible through the Malaysian clearing house mechanism developed under the auspices of the national technical committee on biodiversity. Networking between countries in Asia has been made easier following the implementation of the FAO project - conservation and use of animal genetic resources in Asia and the Pacific. The internet has been helpful for the sharing of technical know-how and experiences. On the long-term, it is hoped that bilateral arrangements may be made to share technical expertise, knowledge and resources for mutual benefit.

- Pursuing bioprospecting ventures

Bioprospecting means the utilization of biological and genetic resources, including traditional knowledge associated with those resources, for commercial purposes. Malaysia is interested in undertaking joint projects both locally and regionally to make best use of animal genetic resources with commercial potential.

- Conducting promotion and training activities

Promotion and training activities are much needed to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance of genetic resources. Further, local expertise is being developed to manage and make best use of AnGR in the country.

- Capacity building

Capacity building is needed in human resource development, education, research, breeding and veterinary services and extension.

- Supporting the global strategy

Malaysia supports the global strategy for the management of farm animal genetic resources. Currently it is involved in the preparation of the first State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources (SoW-AnGR) report. This report is to be submitted to the secretariat (FAO) latter this year.


Malaysia is a global partner in the sustainable management of biological diversity. As part of this commitment, the government of Malaysia has formulated the policy on biological diversity. This has set the stage for comprehensive national activities on the conservation and sustainable utilization of Malaysia’s rich biodiversity heritage. Implanted within the policy is the vision to transform Malaysia into a centre of excellence for conservation work, sustainable utilization and biodiversity research by the year 2020.

Guidelines for good animal husbandry practices for Malaysian pig farms

(by P. Loganathan, Department of Veterinary Services, Malaysia)


Global awareness on food safety and quality is becoming increasingly important. Good animal husbandry practices (GAHP) has been identified as one of the approaches in ensuring the production of wholesome quality meat and meat products. Farmers should aim in achieving a high standard in livestock production and disease control. The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), Malaysia has recently undertaken measures to promote GAHP in the various species of livestock. This paper is aimed to provide some information and guidelines on the principles of GAHP for pig farms. Some of the areas that needs to be discussed are presented:

1 Farm local on and infrastructure

The farm should have a plan showing the location of the farm indicating major roads, villages and watercourses within a radius of 5 km. Another plan should show the structures in the farm. The above plans should always be available in the farm.

2 Housing

Pigs should be kept in well-ventilated barns. The barns should be roofed and kept clean with concrete flooring.

3 Feed and water

All pigs should be provided a well balanced diet and clean drinking water. Only approved medicants should be used in the feed. The withdrawal periods of medicants used must be strictly followed. Feeds process and/or acquired should follow the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines.

4 Workers health and attire

All workers should be of good health. Workers should undergo medical examination if ordered to do so by the authorities. All workers should wear gumboots and farm clothing in the production area. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn, when instructed to do so by the authorities.

5 Biosecurity

Farm area should not be freely accessible to non-farm personnel. All farm personnel’s including visitors should be subjected to disinfection and sanitation procedures before being allowed into the production area. Suitable clean clothing and footwear provided by the farm should be worn. Movement of farm personnel should be restricted to designated areas. Access of non-farm personnel, vehicles, equipment, feeds and other farm items into the farm should be through only one entry point. All vehicles entering the farm should pass through a vehicle dip at the entrance that contains disinfectant. Footbath with fresh disinfectant should be provided at each barn. Supporting services and facilities (e.g. feed mill store, office, etc.) should be constructed near the farm entrance and kept clean.

6 Animal identification

All pigs in the farm must be ear-notched or preferably electronically tagged with the respective farm codes. The identification should be done properly and easily read. All pigs for sale within a period of one month should also be tattooed with the respective farm codes.

7 Sanitation

The farm surroundings and the pig barns should be clean. All rubbish must be collected and disposed off properly. All disinfection facilities should be kept clean and tidy at all times.

8 Health programme

A registered Veterinarian must be employed for each farm to monitor the health status of the farm. New breeding stock should be isolated. Sick animals should be isolated and treated accordingly. Dead animals should be disposed by burying or burning. Only approved drugs, vaccines and chemicals should be used. All pigs should be vaccinated against swine fever.

9 Pest control

Feed stores should be kept clean. Feed stalls should have effective measures to control birds, vermin, flies and other arthropods. A good rodent control programme should be maintained.

10 Breeding animals

Breeding animals with documented performance should be used to stock the farm. DVS should certify that all breeding animals are Nipah virus and Brucellosis free.

11 Waste management

Pig farms must not be allowed to discharge untreated raw wastes or wastewater. All the pig wastes (both solids and liquid) must be gathered and treated fully without causing any public nuisance and breeding flies. Farmers should install a solid-liquid separator to reduce the total solids and enhance the efficacy of the system. A separate channel or drainage must be built to remove rainwater and pig wastewater from each pig shed. Only one discharge point will be allowed on the farm. Zero discharge where water is recycled and completely used in the farm should be encouraged. Discharge of liquids and solids from all pig farms shall be controlled accordance with the environmental quality Act, 1974. The farmers may select any wastewater treatment or technology being marketed or recommended which meets the capability as set by the department of environment. Effluent that are discharged from the pig farms must have a Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) not exceeding 50 mg/l and other parameters must also be within the limits set by the environmental quality Act, 1974.

12 Transportation to abattoir

All pigs should be transported to abattoir in vehicles that do not cause spillage of pig waste on the roads. Adequate space should be provided for the pigs. Transportation should be done during the earlier part of the day. Care should be given to reduce stress to the pigs during loading and unloading.

13 Training

Each worker should be given definite job duties and responsibilities. The farm manager should ensure that the work of their staff is supervised. Farm should have a documented training programme or schedule for their staff on zoonotic disease prevention and control. The farm manager must undergo training that is provided by the relevant government agencies.

14 Records

The farm should have all production, health and medication records. Computerized recording is strongly encouraged.

15 Reporting

The farm should report annually to DVS any changes in the farm structure and pig population. The farm should update monthly reports and make available at the farm. The farm should report to DVS immediately any sudden increase in mortality or pigs being sick or any abnormal conditions in the pigs. The farm should inform DVS of any personnel in the farm that has been hospitalized.


The success of the GAHP depends on the strong commitment and involvement of all personnel involved in the swine industry. The application of GAHP will facilitate regular inspection and promote domestic and international trade.

Utilization of palm kernel cake (PKC) as feed in Malaysia

(by F.Y. Chin, Department of Veterinary Services, Malaysia)


Malaysia currently produces an annual quantity of 1.4 million tonnes of palm kernel cake (PKC) as a by-product in the milling of palm kernel oil. PKC is considered a medium grade protein feed, containing 14.6 - 16.0 percent crude protein, useful for fattening cattle either as a single feed, with only minerals and vitamins supplementation, or mixed with other feedstuffs. It has also become the main ingredient in dairy cattle ration. Two types of PKC, the expeller pressed and the solvent extracted, exist because of different methods of kernel oil extraction and differ in their oil content; 5 - 12 percent in the expeller pressed PKC and 0.5 - 3 percent in the solvent extracted type.


Palm oil milling is a major industry in Malaysia. The total area under oil palm covers 3.375 million hectares in the year 2000 (Anon, 2002). The industry, besides producing palm oil, also produces three by-products usable as animal feed. These are PKC, palm oil sludge (POS) and palm pressed fibre (PPF). The most useful is PKC, which is the solid residue left behind after the extraction of oil from the kernels of the palm fruits. It is now well entrenched as a major feed ingredient in beef and dairy feed in the country.

The PKC results after two stages of oil extraction from the palm fruit. The first stage is the primary extraction of palm oil from the pericarp portion of the fruit which also produces the kernel and by-products POS and PPF. The extraction of oil from crushed kernel then results in the production of PKC as the by-product. Two methods are used for the extraction of oil from the crushed kernels. These are the conventional mechanical screwpress method, that results in the expeller pressed palm kernel cake and the solvent (usually hexane) extraction method, that results in the solvent extracted type. The estimated annual total production of PKC is 1.4 million tonnes.

This paper outlined the use of palm kernel cake for the fattening of cattle; as supplement for milk production in dairy cattle; as well as the improvement of its quality for the feeding of monogastric animals, particularly poultry.

Nutritive value of PKC

Although PKC supplies both protein and energy, it is looked upon more as a source of protein (Chin, 2001). PKC by itself is a medium grade protein feed and with its high fibre content is often thought of being more suitable for feeding of ruminants. PKC was ranked a little higher than copra cake but lower than fish meal and groundnut cake, especially in its protein value (Devendra, 1977). The nutrient composition of PKC is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Nutrient composition of solvent extracted and expeller pressed PKC.

Solvent extracted

Expeller pressed







Dry matter (%)







Crude protein (%)







Crude fibre (%)







Acid detergent fibre (%)







Neutral detergent fibre (%)







Ether extract (%)







Ash (%)







Nitrogen free extract (%)







Total digestible nutrient, TDN (calculated, %)







Metabolisable energy, ME (cattle, MJ/kg)







Calcium (%)







Phosphorus (%)







Magnesium (%)







Copper (ppm)







Ferrous (mg/kg)







Manganese (mg/kg)







Zinc (mg/kg)







Source: Mustaffa et al. (1987), Chin (1991)

1 Department of Veterinary Services, Malaysia

2 Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)

3 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

The main difference between the solvent extracted PKC and the expeller pressed type is in the ether extract or oil content. The oil content of the former is low, around 0.5 to 3 percent, while that in the latter is higher and ranges between 5 to 12 percent, depending on the extent of oil extraction. No clear distinct difference can be found in the crude protein contents between the two types which range from 14.6 to 16.0 percent on dry matter basis. Work to evaluate the potential usefulness of palm kernel cake through chemical and biological determination has been pursued quite extensively by several researchers in Malaysia. Digestibility of solvent extracted PKC was determined, using Kedah-Kelantan breed of cattle, to be 65.1 percent for dry matter, 72.7 percent for organic matter, 69.7 percent for crude protein and 86.7 percent for the nitrogen-free-extract component (Miyashige et al., 1987). Digestibility co-efficients for expeller pressed PKC of 70.0 percent for dry matter, 63 percent for crude protein, 52.0 percent for acid-detergent fibre (ADF), 53.0 percent for neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and 88 percent for gross energy were obtained using sheep (Suparjo and Rahman, 1987). The expeller pressed PKC thus had 11.0 percent digestible crude protein (DCP), 21.0 percent digestible ADF, 40.0 percent digestible NDF and 14.89 MJ/kg of digestible energy (DE). These figures show that PKC is a reasonably good feed for ruminants and this feedstuff has been exploited in the country as well as overseas where it is exported to for fattening and supplementary feeding of cattle.

Use of PKC for fattening and in supplementary feeding of cattles

Suitability of PKC as cattle feed had been much proven. Invariably, it has become the basic feed in most rations for fattening cattle in feedlot. It is also the primary constituent supplementary feed for dairy cattle, mixed together with other ingredients such as ground maize and soyabean meal.

Cattle fattening with PKC

The feasibility and practicability of commercial feedlotting using PKC as the sole feed, where only minerals and vitamins are the only other supplement given had been reported (Mustaffa et al., 1986). Comparing breeds fattened using expeller pressed PKC, it had been found that the beef characteristics of droughtmaster cattle put it in good stead to perform better than the dairy type local Indian dairy crossbreds and the sahiwal-friesian animals (Yusof et al., 1987). Their respective daily gains were 0.85, 0.63 and 0.65 kg, though their feed conversion ratios were not significantly different at 7.37, 7.80 and 7.83, respectively, indicating a higher intake of feed by the Droughtmaster cattle.

The average daily gain of the Australian Commercial Cross (ACC), another beef breed, fed with PKC was found to be very promising at about 0.84 kg, with a feed conversion ratio of 6.96 (Hutagalung, 1986). Sahiwal-Friesian animal was fed with solvent extracted PKC and expeller pressed PKC, with a low fat content of 7 percent (Yusoff et al., 1987). No significant difference in performance was found between the two groups of animals, with 0.75 kg daily gain for those fed expeller pressed PKC and 0.69 kg for those on solvent extracted PKC.

PKC is often used in combination with other oil palm by-products for cattle fattening. PKC had been mixed with PPF for feeding growing dairy bull calves, where the PPF primarily served as a fibre source (Cameons, 1978). The performances of droughtmaster animals was compared with Brahman bull calves fed a ration of PKC with palm oil mill effuent (POME), another term commonly used for POS, in the ratio of 60/40 (Yahya and Ibrahim, 1985). These droughmaster calves were also found to be superior to the Brahman in terms of a better carcase analysis. In the same study, they also compared Droughmaster fed with the above diet with droughmaster grazing only Brachiaria decumbens pasture. The animals fed the PKC/POME ration achieved 0.81 kg daily gain as compared to only 0.25 kg obtained by those grazing pasture. Local indigenous Kedah-Kelantan cattle was fed in feedlotting experiment with rations involving both the solvent extracted and expeller pressed PKC with POME and a ration of solvent extracted PKC and POME in a 50/50 ratio was observed to be the best treatment with a daily gain of 0.60 kg and a corresponding feed conversion ratio of 6.29 (Shamsuddin et al., 1987).

Sahiwal-Friesian animals had been fed with both the solvent extracted and the expeller pressed PKC in combination with dried sago pith at 50/50 ratio of PKC and the sago pith (Yusoff et al., 1987). No significant difference in daily gains was found between the solvent extracted PKC/sago pith group and the expeller pressed PKC/sago pith group. However, it was reported that animals on these diets produced better weight gains of 0.83 kg for those on expeller pressed/sago pith and 0.82 kg for those on the solvent extracted PKC/sago pith, as compared to animals fed 100 percent PKC without the sago pith. This was obviously due to the higher energy availability of diets with sago pith inclusion. It had been earlier found that there was no significant difference in the daily gain among Sahiwal-Friesian dairy heifers fed with napier grass plus 2 kg of supplementary rations comprising PKC alone or with either cassava or molasses as energy supplement (Yusoff, 1985).

Results of weight gain performance of various breeds of cattle fed PKC and PKC-based diets in different trials and observations undertaken by various worker had been cited (Hawari and Chin, 1985; Mustaffa, 1987; Mustaffa et al., 1987) and these are summarized in Table 2. Average daily live weight gains ranged from a lowly 0.39 kg achieved by the indigenous Kedah-Kelantan cattle fed a 100% expeller pressed PKC diet to 0.83 kg obtained by Droughtmaster cattle fed a mixed ration comprising 60 percent solvent extracted PKC and 40 percent POME.

Supplementary feeding of PKC to dairy cattle

The performance of Sahiwal-friesian cows fed a conventional dairy concentrate mixture without PKC was compared with those fed identical amounts of solvent extracted PKC (Ganabathi, 1983). Cows fed PKC performed almost similarly to those fed conventional ration, obtaining 7.7 kg milk daily over a 200-day period, which was non-significant to the 8.4 kg milk daily milk production for the conventional ration. The advantage is in the cost of feeding; the PKC mixture being cheaper at 0.28 sen per kg as compared to 0.43 sen per kg for the conventional dairy ration. In the same trial, when comparing the use of solvent extracted PKC and expeller pressed PKC for milk production, it was found that solvent extracted PKC gave significantly better milk production than the expeller pressed type. Over a 170-day milking period, cows fed solvent extracted PKC produced 7.9 kg milk daily while those fed the expeller pressed type produced only 4.8 kg milk daily.

The typical feed ration formulated for the feeding of dairy cattle on governmental farms comprises 64.5 percent PKC, 25.0 percent ground maize, 8.0 percent soyabean meal, 1.0 percent common salt and 0.5 percent each of tri-calcium phosphate, limestone and trace element/vitamin premix.

Table 2. Weight gains of cattle fed 100% PKC1 and PKC mixed diets

Feed diets

Breed of cattle

Daily weight gain (kg)

100 % solvent extracted PKC

Zebu cross


100% solvent extracted PKC

Sahiwal Friesian crossbred


100% solvent extracted PKC

Local Kedah-Kelantan


100% expeller pressed PKC

Beef crosses


100% expeller pressed PKC

Local Kedah-Kelantan


100% low fat2 expeller pressed PKC

Sahiwal Friesian crossbred


100% low fat2 expeller pressed PKC

Australian Commercial cross


50% solvent extracted PKC
50% fodder grass

Zebu cross


50% solvent extracted PKC
50% expeller pressed PKC

Sahiwal Friesian crossbred


60% solvent extracted PKC
40% POME



60% solvent extracted PKC
40% POME



60% expeller pressed PKC
40% POME

Beef crosses


60% expeller pressed PKC
40% POME

Local Kedah-Kelantan


60% low fat2 expeller pressed PKC
40% POME

Sahiwal Friesian crossbred


Source: Hawari and Chin (1985); Mustaffa (1987); Mustaffa et al. (1987); citing various workers.

1 All diets were supplemented with the required minerals and vitamins

2 Low fat expeller pressed PKC has about 7 percent ether extract.

PKC for monogastric feeding

The usefulness of PKC as a feed for monogastric animals (poultry and pigs) is affected by three main factors - its high shell content, unfavourable fibre composition and low ME - reported to be 6.2 MJ for poultry. It has been reported that low digestibility of its cell wall and low ME value are contributing factors in limiting its use in poultry feeding (Ariff Omar et al., 1998). Currently, without biotechnological improvement to PKC, it is reported that inclusion of PKC in poultry feed is only up to 20 percent of the ration.

The shell content can vary between 15 to 17 percent depending on the efficiency of crushing and carryover shell fragments. This high shell content affects the feeding value as it is highly indigestible. Work towards overcoming these problems has been initiated by the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia (DVS), in cooperation with a private sector under a sister government agency - Federal Land Development Agency (FELDA).

In initial work on this, the reduction of shell content from 15 to 7 percent has been successfully carried out through enhanced sieving technique. With this, an improvement in the quality of PKC is also determined (see Table 3).

Table 3. Proximate analysis/shell content determination of normally produced PKC and PKC that has undergone further post-press sieving

Proximate values/shell content

Normal PKC

PKC with post-press sieving

Moisture (%)



Crude Protein (%)



Crude Fibre (%)



Crude Fat (%)



Shell Content (%)



Source: DVS/FELDA Palm Kernel Product Sdn Bhd, unpublished data

The application of enzymes for saccharification of fibrous material has received much attention (Noraini et al., 2002). In Malaysia, this is being pursued in the context of improving PKC for monogastric feeding. Since the fibre in PKC is mainly in the form of ß-mannan type hemicelulose (Mohd. Jaafar and Jarvis, 1992), the intended product of its degradation should be mannose when it is subjected to ß-mannanase that is produced by microbial cell. Work has demonstrated that limited amount of its mannan can be hydrolyzed using commercially available enzymes (Daud et al., 1997). Enzymatic treatment of PKC will release digestible sugars which can then be fully absorbed and metabolized by monogastric animals. Both DVS and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) have ongoing work in this direction. While DVS undertakes work with the above mentioned private sector using commercially available enzymes, MARDI on the other hand is working towards culturing Aspergillus spp. and Bacillus spp. for this purpose as it is known that ß-mannanases are derived from plants, fungi and bacteria. Six cultures identified as Trichosporon beigelii B which had exhibited ß-mannanase activity were also isolated (Marini et al., 2002).


PKC is an agro-industrial by-product that is being produced locally and within the Southeast Asian region in sizeable quantity and should thus be exploited fully for the feeding of animals within the Asia and Pacific region. It is a reasonably good feed for cattle, both for fattening and supplementary feeding. Its quality can also be enhanced to make it more suitable for monogastric feeding, particularly poultry.


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