Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Kinmen halts transport of pork due to infected swine

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Kinmen County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center workers take blood samples from a pig at a farm in the county’s Lieyu Township yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Kinmen County Government yesterday suspended the transportation of pork between Lieyu Township (烈嶼) and other areas of the outlying county after a dead pig found in the township tested positive for African swine fever.

It was the third infected pig carcass found in the nation’s outlying islands, following dead hogs found in Kinmen’s Jinsha Township (金沙) in December last year and in Lienchiang County’s Jyuguang Township (莒光) in January, Council of Agriculture data showed.

The carcasses might have been carried from China by sea currents, the council said, adding that no infections of the highly contagious disease have been reported on Taiwan proper.

The council on Thursday confirmed that the third carcass, which was found on Lieyu’s southwest coast on Tuesday, was infected with the same strain of the virus that is spreading in China.

There is no hog farm within a 3km radius of the site where the carcass was found, the council said, adding that it is possible that it arrived from China, as the site is only 6km from Xiamen.

The dead pig was found among marine garbage, but there were no other carcasses, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine division head Hsu Jung-pin (徐榮彬) said.

The county government suspended the transportation of pork between Lieyu, also known as Little Kinmen, and Greater Kinmen (大金門), where there is an airport with flights to Taiwan proper, he said.

The transportation of pork between Greater Kinmen and Taiwan proper would not be affected, he added.

Officials yesterday collected 137 samples from Leiyu’s eight pig farms, which keep a total of 770 pigs, Kinmen Animal and Plant Disease Control Center Director Chuang Chien-kung (莊謙恭) said, adding that the samples would be sent to the council’s Animal Health Research Institute for testing.

The ban on transportation of pork from the township would be lifted immediately if the samples test negative for the disease, Chuang added.

Additional reporting by CNA

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