Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials yesterday condemned a video of a convulsing pig posted online by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) , as the US animal rights group that produced the clip said that it was not related to ractopamine.
“The KMT knew what the video shows, but they chose to spread the fabrication that the pig in convulsions had been fed ractopamine, and they claimed that it was at a ‘ractopamine slaughterhouse,’” DPP caucus whip Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) told a news conference.
The KMT’s Facebook page, where the video was posted on Tuesday, said that the video was of hogs fed ractopamine that were experiencing physical and emotional distress as a result.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The video was circulated online amid public health concerns over US pork imports, after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Aug. 28 announced that the nation would ease restrictions on imports of US pork containing traces of the drug within certain limits starting from Jan. 1.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) said that the video came from Washington-based advocacy group Animal Outlook, which released the video to cast light on the treatment of pigs.
The footage was shot at Quality Pork Processors (QPP), a high-speed pig slaughterhouse in Minnesota, it said.
Animal Outlook was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying yesterday that they “had no evidence of a ractopamine connection with QPP pigs” and “the video was not to prove such a connection.”
“We made it clear when we gave the [KMT] permission to use this footage that we have no evidence of ractopamine use, but that they were welcome to use the footage to illustrate the suffering of pigs subjected to high-speed slaughter,” it said.
“The KMT looked at the images and just made up stories. The group had already told them that the hogs in the video had nothing to do with ractopamine, but the KMT still distorted the facts to deceive the public,” DPP Legislator Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said.
Chuang asked the authorities to look into possible breaches of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) by the KMT for spreading rumors about food safety, which could be punished by up to three years in prison.
COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) on Thursday asked the KMT to remove the video.
Meanwhile, the KMT has stood by its claims, saying in a news release yesterday that it had independently verified that pigs at the QPP plant are given ractopamine.
It cited articles by Reuters and the Minnesota-based news outlet Progressive Farmer DTN, which show that China banned imports of meat from the plant because of its use of the drug.
It also said that the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan has in the past used the same footage to document the side effects of ractopamine on pigs.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as