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Taiwan reports no new FMD cases in August

Taiwan reports no new FMD cases in August

Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) There have been no new cases of foot-and- mouth disease (FMD) in Taiwan since the start of August after the animal health authorities resumed vaccinations of pigs, a government agency reported Wednesday.
After the authorities restarted FMD vaccinations for pigs aged 12-14 weeks from early this month in bid to stave off a fresh outbreak of the epidemic, Taiwan has not reported any new cases, said the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).
Chiu Chui-chang, a bureau section chief, said pigs of that age are vulnerable to FMD and need to be vaccinated against the disease.
The amount of FMD vaccine used in August was more than double the amount used the previous month, he added.
Before the resumption of vaccinations, only sporadic FMD cases were reported from different regions to the bureau in the last year, but the bureau decided to re-impose the practice in an effort to make Taiwan an FMD-free country recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) with a zero-vaccination rate, bureau officials said.
Until late last year, 90 percent of the pigs on 12,000 farms around the country had stopped receiving FMD vaccinations, moving Taiwan toward the zero-injection rate required by the OIE, they noted.
FMD first broke out in Taiwan in 1997, brought into the country by hogs smuggled from China, and the bureau was forced to mandate the vaccination of all pigs to curtail the spread of the epidemic in Taiwan from that year onward, bureau officials said.
With the inoculation measure back in place, the officials said it will now take Taiwan several more years to achieve its goal of becoming recognized as a country free from FMD, they said.
Taiwan used to raise as many as 12 million pigs per year, 7 million of which were exported to Japan, according to COA officials.
Taiwan now raises only about 6.4 million pigs a year, mainly for local consumption, they noted.
(By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-04-23 20:27 GMT+08:00