ASF virus found in PRC sausage

A FIRST::Of the 690 items tested since quarantine checks were increased at the end of August, the package of sausauges was the first meat product to have the virus

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Nov 02, 2018 - Page 3

A package of Chinese crispy sausage apparently carried by passengers on a ferry from China’s Fujian Province to Kinmen was contaminated with African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, the Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said on Wednesday.

The sausage made by WH Group — the largest meat producer in China — was discovered on Thursday last week in a garbage can at Shuitou Port, Huang said.

It had apparently discarded by whoever brought it, and was sent for testing to the Animal Health Research Institute as part of the government’s effort to keep the ASF virus out of Taiwan, he said.

Pork and pork products from WH Group have been repeatedly found to contain the ASF virus since the disease was first reported in China on Aug. 3, he said.

The disease has since spread to 13 provinces, cities and territories in China.

The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine on Aug. 27 stepped up quarantine checks at seaports and airports to prevent the disease from entering Taiwan.

There is no cure for ASF.

Out of 690 items examined since the quarantine checks were beefed-up, the suspect sausage package was the first time ASF has been found in a meat product brought into the nation by travelers, bureau Director-General Feng Hai-tung (馮海東) said.

People caught smuggling meat products from countries and areas affected by ASF or by foot-and-mouth disease can face a fine of up to NT$15,000, although a bill before the legislature seeks to increase the fine to NT$300,000, Huang said.