The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) plans to establish an East Asian task force to combat the spread of African swine fever (ASF), which would include Taiwan, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday.
The council has been on alert since the first ASF case was reported in China’s Liaoning Province in early August, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said.
As of yesterday, 89 cases of ASF have been reported in 21 Chinese provinces and regions, it said.
Given the grave threat posed by the disease, the OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific wants to bring together officials from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia and the two Koreas, with the first meeting to be held next month, the bureau said.
From September until Sunday, 319 travelers have been fined NT$15,000 (US$486) each for trying to bring meat products into Taiwan from areas affected by ASF or foot-and-mouth disease, in accordance with Article 45-1 of the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例), the bureau said.
There were 26 cases last week, down from 56 between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, it said.
Of the 534 meat products it has confiscated for testing, only three packages of Chinese sausages — intercepted at airports in Taichung and Kaohsiung and a harbor in Kinmen County — were found to have the ASF virus, the bureau said.
While the legislature on Nov. 30 passed an amendment to the statue to increase the maximum fine for bringing in illegal meat products from NT$15,000 to NT$1 million, the legislation has not yet been promulgated by the Presidential Office, so the old fines still apply, Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said.
Regarding a call yesterday by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers for the government to established a higher-level task force to prevent ASF from spreading to this nation, Huang said the Executive Yuan would activate the Central Emergency Operation Center in case of an outbreak of ASF.
The council has scheduled a drill for Friday next week that would simulate an outbreak of ASF in Pingtung County’s Kanding Township (崁頂) and Yanpu Fishing Port (鹽埔漁港), as well as at Kaohsiung International Airport, with personnel from the Coast Guard Administration and the Customs Administration taking part, he said.
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest
PRESSURE POINTS: The CCP is looking to ease travel restrictions and blast Taiwan for a lack of vaccines to sway public opinion, a Taiwanese official said In preparation for its centennial on July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has begun a “united front” offensive to influence Taiwanese public opinion to force officials to lift restrictions on cross-strait exchanges, an official said yesterday. The CCP has been preparing events for the milestone anniversary, for which it reportedly plans to invite “certain” political parties and people from Taiwan. Cross-strait interactions have stalled since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the government has announced plans to restart regular exchanges. Despite the resumption of business travel in March and a Mainland Affairs Council plan presented last month to gradually restore regular