The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) yesterday reported the nation’s latest confirmed case of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) involving a hog pen at a meat market in Hsinchu County.
Blisters — a symptom of FMD — were found on eight of the nine hogs in the pen on July 13. The animals were immediately culled.
BAPHIQ officials said tests on specimens taken from the hogs confirmed they had been infected with serotype O of the FMD virus. As the hogs had been enclosed overnight in the meat market, it was likely they were infected at the facility, the officials said.
The market was disinfected soon after the discovery of FMD, and further disinfection efforts will be carried out in the coming days while the market is not open for business, they said, adding that quarantine officials had already inspected the farm where the hogs were raised and had found no abnormalities.
BAPHIQ, however, has restricted the movement of livestock within the farm and has collected specimens for further tests, the officials said.
Sporadic FMD cases have been reported on pig farms in several parts of the country since the beginning of this year.
The cases have come just as Taiwan, which experienced a serious FMD outbreak in 1997, has been working toward being listed as a fully FMD-free country after it was recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health as an “FMD-free country with vaccination” thanks to its efforts to eliminate the disease over the past decade.