Rabies found in dog
The first case of rabies infection in dogs has been confirmed, the Central Epidemic Command Center for rabies said yesterday. The center was informed by the Animal Health Research Institute that a dog suspected to have been infected was sent to the institute by Taitung County’s animal disease control center on Monday and was later confirmed to have had rabies by the direct fluorescent antibody test and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The infected dog was a Taitung County resident’s pet, and was bitten by a rabid ferret-badger on Aug. 14 and sent to the county’s animal disease control center the next day to be placed under quarantine and observation. The dog started to exhibit loss of appetite and depression on Sept. 6, experienced paralysis of body parts on Sunday and was euthanized on the same day. The Council of Agriculture said that any warm-blooded animal can be infected with rabies and speculated that since the dog was only one-and-a-half-months-old and small, it was more susceptible to attacks by ferret-badgers. Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director Chang Su-san (張淑賢) said that currently only those pet dogs that are aged three months or older can receive rabies vaccinations, so the puppy was not vaccinated.
Japanese lawmaker visits
Japanese MP Shinjiro Koizumi of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has arrived in Taiwan with a large delegation to promote bilateral ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. During a four-day trip that will wrap up tomorrow, Koizumi, the son of former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, is scheduled to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and several Taiwanese lawmakers to discuss bilateral political, economic and security issues, the ministry said. The 97-member delegation, including 33 young lawmakers, will also visit the National Palace Museum and the 921 Earthquake Museum, the ministry said. In addition, the delegation will visit National Fire Agency officials to express gratitude for Taiwan’s relief assistance in the wake of the March 11, 2011, earthquake. Shinjiro Koizumi was also scheduled to attend a professional baseball game in New Taipei City (新北市) last night, where he was to throw the first pitch, the ministry said. The 32-year-old lawmaker, who was elected to Japan’s lower house in 2009, has been the head of his party’s youth division since 2011. This was the first time the LDP has sent a large delegation to Taiwan since the party returned to power in December last year, the ministry said.
Hualien set for music fest
Music lovers can look forward to a strong lineup of original music shows when the Orig Sound Music Festival starts in Hualien on Saturday. Twenty-one original music singers and bands from Taiwan and abroad will perform, the Ministry of Culture said yesterday. Among the scheduled acts are US trumpeter and Grammy award winner Chris Botti, Japanese jazz saxophonist and flutist Kaori Kobayashi and Taiwanese Aboriginal a cappella singing group the O-Kai Singers. Other local artists and groups, including post-rock band Sugar Plum Ferry, Aboriginal singer-songwriter Panai and the band Chalaw & Passiwali, which combines Aboriginal music with Latin rhythms and rock sensibilities, will also offer fresh spins on local music. The festival will run until Sept. 22 at the Hualien Cultural and Creative Industries Park and will also include exhibitions, lectures and a food and crafts market.