Sun, Nov 18, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Pork imports from Japan banned after hog cholera report

SWINE SAFEGUARD:While the symptoms are similar, the disease is not the same as African swine fever affecting China and can be vaccinated against

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Monitors display an X-rayed package in Taipei on Friday. Organic material is shown in orange.

Photo: CNA

The Council of Agriculture yesterday announced a ban on Japanese pork imports after it reported another case of classical swine fever, or hog cholera.

The disease is different from the African swine fever that is affecting China, the council said.

Japan on Sept. 9 reported its first classical swine fever case in 26 years to the World Organization for Animal Health, which suspended its status as a non-infection area, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said in a news release.

After learning of the second case in Japan on Friday, the council imposed an immediate ban on imports of Japanese hogs and pork products to protect the domestic pork industry from being affected by the fatal disease, it said.

Classical swine fever is a ribonucleic acid virus, while African swine fever is a DNA virus, the bureau said, adding that there are vaccines for classical swine fever, but none for African swine fever.

However, hogs exhibit similar symptoms upon contracting either of the highly contagious diseases, including fever and hemorrhages, that typically lead to death, it said.

The ban would not affect domestic pork supply, as Japanese pork products make up only 0.06 percent of the nation’s total pork imports, or 40 tonnes every year, it said.

Taiwan has not reported any classical swine fever cases since 2007, bureau Deputy Director-General Tu Wen-jane (杜文珍) said, adding that inspections would continue at customs to block pork imports from areas infected by swine diseases.

Meanwhile, African swine fever in China has spread to 18 provinces and regions, with 69 cases reported in farmed hogs and one found in a wild pig as of yesterday, the council said.

Council Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) yesterday inspected quarantine measures at Kaohsiung International Airport, where customs officials intercepted dried beef and chicken jerky that a traveler returning from China wanted to bring into the country.

Lin told the traveler about the potential consequences of African swine fever entering Taiwan.

He called on people to help defend the nation’s animal husbandry industry.

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