COA warns over Chinese pork as Anhui cases rise

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER::Chinese authorities said that the latest outbreak was in Wuhu, with 185 of a farm’s 459 pigs confirmed to be infected and 80 having died

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 3

The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday warned people not to visit farms in China or bring pork into the nation as the spread of African swine fever in China shows no sign of stopping, with a fifth case reported in Anhui Province on Thursday.

The council said that over the past month, it has stopped 292 instances of pork from China being smuggled into Taiwan.

Since the fever was first reported in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, on Aug. 3, cases have been reported in Henan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, the council said.

The latest outbreak was on a farm in Anhui’s Wuhu City, with 185 of its 459 pigs on Thursday confirmed to be infected with the disease and 80 having died, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Tuesday said that African swine fever might spread to other Asian nations at any time, and urged regional collaboration to monitor and curb the disease.

To prevent the disease from entering Taiwan, the council has tightened quarantine measures at harbors and airports, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Deputy Director-General Shih Tai-hua (施泰華) said yesterday.

The bureau has tested 24 samples of meat products it has intercepted for the virus, with the results to be available next week, Shih said.

Those convicted of smuggling pork face fines of NT$3,000 to NT$15,000, as stipulated by the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例), Shih said.

Although African swine fever cannot be transmitted to people, the virus can infect hogs through direct contact, leftover food or tick bites, the bureau said.

There is no effective antidote or vaccine, it said.

The virus is able to survive in frozen pork for up to 1,000 days, refrigerated pork for 100 days and farmhouses for one month, it said.