Tue, Mar 31, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take



MND, PLA to meet

Representatives from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Chinese military will meet this summer in Hawaii in their first formal exchange in six decades, a newspaper reported yesterday. The report said that the militaries would take part in a workshop on regional security and crisis management under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a think tank with links to the US Pacific Command. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry would not comment on the report. The Chinese-language United Daily News said other militaries would also participate in the workshop, but it did not say which.


Hundreds of pigs culled

Chiayi City has culled a total of 291 pigs after suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) were detected two days ago, a Council of Agriculture official said on Sunday. Staff members from the council旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine spotted several pigs showing symptoms of FMD on Friday during a routine inspection of the Chiayi meat market, the official said. The Chiayi City Government was immediately alerted. It tracked the source of the pigs to a farm in neighboring Chiayi County and prohibited movement of pigs from that farm, the official said. On Saturday, the official said the pigs showing FMD symptoms and other pigs kept in the same enclosure were culled, while the remaining pigs in the farm were vaccinated.


Retired officer accused

A retired officer with 20 years of military service has been accused of leaking documents about war plans and other military secrets to Beijing. The report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times� sister paper) said the officer, identified only by his surname Chang, took up residence in China after leaking secrets, including troop deployment plans to be used in the event of a war. It said Chang was afraid to return to Taiwan. A Ministry of National Defense official confirmed that Chang was under investigation but refused to elaborate.


Poultry farmers protest

More than 1,000 poultry farmers rallied in front of the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday to protest against a planned ban on slaughtering birds in traditional markets. The protest prompted a COA official to say there would be no turning back in implementing the policy. Huang Kuo-ching (黃國青), deputy director-general of the COA旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said that butchering poultry in certified slaughterhouses was a modern trend and added that the government would help domestic fowl farmers face the impact of the new measures once the ban is implemented on April 1 next year. Last March, the Executive Yuan passed a resolution prohibiting the old practice and decided to start the ban after two years. The announcement triggered protests by poultry farmers concerned that their livelihoods would be affected because the new law would require them to have their birds butchered at certified facilities. To minimize the impact on small poultry businesses, the COA has prepared a variety of measures, including low-interest loans to help businesses establish integrated production lines from breeding to final sale, the council said.

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