Thu, Apr 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Another infected dead pig washes ashore in Jinhu

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER:As of yesterday, a total of five infected pig carcasses had been found, as the government steps up bans and inspections

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Another pig carcass found on a beach in Kinmen County’s Jinhu Township (金湖) has tested positive for African swine fever, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, adding that the disease is spreading fast in Southeast Asian countries, although it has not entered Taiwan.

As of yesterday, the number of infected pig carcasses found in the nation totaled five, including the one in Lienchiang County’s Nangan Township (南竿) that was confirmed as infected on Tuesday, the council said.

Virus samples collected from the carcasses are identical to the virus spreading in China, it said, inferring that the dead pigs might have been washed ashore from China’s coastal provinces by sea currents.

A one-week suspension of the transport of raw pork from Lienchiang to other places in Taiwan started on Tuesday, while a one-week suspension for Kinmen started yesterday, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine section chief Hsu Jung-pin (徐榮彬) said, adding that no abnormal pig deaths had been discovered in the two counties.

Pork jerky products are not covered by the ban, as they have been cooked and disinfected, Hsu said.

Today, the council expects to confirm that another dead hog found in Kinmen County’s Jincheng Township (金城) was infected, as samples have proved positive for the virus in the initial testing, COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said.

In Asia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia have reported outbreaks of African swine fever, he said.

The disease might spread to Myanmar soon, given its proximity to the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, which has reported infected pigs along its border with India, he said.

The carry-on luggage of travelers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar — which have been identified as high-risk countries for transmission of the disease — must be scanned by an X-ray machine at customs, even though Thailand, Laos and Myanmar have not yet reported outbreaks.

The council would consider adding Malaysia to the list of high-risk countries if Thailand and Myanmar report outbreaks, Huang said.

In related news, the council last month announced a subsidy plan to allow domestic vehicles that transport pork to slaughterhouses to install GPS devices, in an attempt to retroactively track virus dissemination if an outbreak were to occur in Taiwan.

As of yesterday, the owners of 1,425 vehicles had submitted applications to the council for installing the devices, Huang said, adding that the installations should be finished by the end of June.

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