Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - Page 3 News List

New coast guard boss sees pig fever as top priority

Staff writer, with CNA

After being sworn in yesterday, new Coast Guard Administration Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) vowed to make every effort to prevent African swine fever from entering the nation.

While he was happy to take up the challenge, his new post came with great responsibility, and keeping out African swine fever was the most pressing issue right now, he said.

It is better to do more than less, and to make meticulous and long-term preparations to combat the disease, as such steps are essential to ensure the nation’s health and economic stability, he added.

The Coast Guard Administration would also follow President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) plan to acquire smart technology, including thermal imaging devices and vertical takeoff and landing uncrewed aerial vehicles, he said.

Since the first confirmed case of African swine fever was reported in China’s Liaoning Province in early August last year, Taiwan has been on high alert for fear that the virus could wipe out the nation’s NT$80 billion-a-year (US$2.6 billion) pig farming industry.

The Central Emergency Operation Center for African swine fever data showed that there have been 25 cases of pork products brought from abroad that tested positive for the virus so far.

Chen succeeded Lee Chung-wei (李仲威), who on Wednesday last week was appointed head of the Ocean Affairs Council.

He has an extensive background in police work, including serving as commissioner of the New Taipei City Police Department and director-general of the National Police Agency. He served as deputy head of the National Security Bureau from mid-September 2017 until last week.

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