Fri, Oct 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan, Vietnam cooperate on swine fever prevention

By Dennis Xie  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Animal Health Research Institute Director Chiou Chwei-jang, front row left, and Vietnamese National Institute of Veterinary Research Acting Director Pham Thi Ngoc, front row right, display the memorandum of understanding they signed at a ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of the Council of Agriculture

Taiwan and Vietnam on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to boost collaboration on African swine fever detection, vaccine investigation and diagnostic technology, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday.

A delegation headed by Council Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday to meet with Vietnamese officials.

The next day, Animal Health Research Institute Director-General Chiou Chwei-jang (邱垂章) signed the memorandum with Pham Thi Ngoc, acting chief of Vietnam’s National Institute of Veterinary Research in Hanoi.

Although Taiwan has developed African swine fever diagnostic technology in compliance with World Organisation for Animal Health standards, it has not been tested on live pigs infected by the virus. The collaboration with Vietnam gives Taiwan the opportunity to test the measures on live pigs.

Since its first reported outbreak of African swine fever in February, Vietnam has identified a total of 6,083 cases, council data as of yesterday showed.

China in August last year was the first Asian country to report an outbreak. It was followed by Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea and East Timor.

Taiwan has tightened border inspections and started prevention work since China first reported the virus last year, the council said, adding that cross-border viral infections like African swine fever highlight the importance of regional collaboration to curb its spread.

The memorandum with Vietnam opens the door to more collaboration opportunities on examination, testing and vaccine development of African swine fever and other diseases, such as classical swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease, the council said, adding that it hoped to build a strengthened network of prevention with Vietnam.

Since Dec. 18 last year, people caught illegally transporting pork products from areas where African swine fever has been reported would face a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,539) for the first offense and NT$1 million for repeated offenses.

Foreigners who fail to pay the fine at customs would be denied entry into Taiwan.

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