The ban on the slaughter of pigs for meat in Kinmen County is to be lifted within two weeks once an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been brought under control, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday.
The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine reported an outbreak of “type O pan Asia” foot-and-mouth disease on two pig farms in Kinmen on Friday.
That strain of the disease can infect hoofed animals, such as deer, cattle, sheep and pigs, but in Taiwan only pigs have been infected so far, said Huang Kuo-ching (黃國青), the bureau’s deputy director-general.
About 530 pigs in Kinmen were culled last week as a preventative measure and a ban was placed on the shipment of raw meat and livestock from the county to Taiwan proper.
Huang said the foot-and-mouth outbreak has not escalated since the culling and the next two weeks will be crucial for disease-control efforts. If no new foot-and-mouth cases are reported in the next two weeks, the bureau would lift the ban, which prohibits the sale of raw meat and livestock from farms within a 3km radius of the two infected farms, he said.
However, the bureau will continue to monitor livestock farms within that radius, he added.
Huang said the outbreak would not affect the time frame of Taiwan’s removal from the World Organization for Animal Health’s list of foot-and-mouth-infected countries.
To be removed from the list, a country has to be free of foot-and-mouth for more than a year without vaccinating its livestock, but Taiwan is still in the process of vaccinating its pigs, Huang said.
Japan and South Korea culled millions of livestock last year because of infections of “type O pan Asia” foot-and-mouth disease. China is also an infected area for that strain of the disease.