Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Sausage found at airport tests positive for pig fever

Staff writer, with CNA

Slices of pork sausage discarded at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and found to contain traces of African swine fever are shown in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA, courtesy of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine

A pork sausage produced in China has tested positive for African swine fever, the Central Emergency Operation Center for African swine fever said on Tuesday.

The sausage, which was tested for African swine fever on March 3 after being found cut into several pieces and discarded at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), is believed to have been carried into Taiwan by a passenger on a Far Eastern Air Transport flight from Hefei in China’s Anhui Province, the center said.

Samples were sent to the Council of Agriculture’s Animal Health Research Institute for testing and were found to contain sequences of gene fragments identical to those of the virus strain in China, it said.

Since October last year, 33 pork products from China have been found to be infected with the virus: one in October, two in November, four in December, 11 in January, 11 last month and four this month, center data showed.

As of Friday last week, 113 outbreaks had been reported in 28 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, with more than 950,000 pigs having been culled, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data showed.

China confirmed that its first outbreak of African swine fever occurred in Liaoning Province on Aug. 3 last year, the FAO’s Web site said.

Taiwan is on high alert, concerned that the spread of the virus from China could hit its pig farming industry, which is worth NT$80 billion (US$2.59 billion) per year.

Although African swine fever does not affect humans, the virus is deadly to pigs and there is no known cure or vaccine.

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