Kinmen on track to be listed FMD-free with vaccination

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The COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine announced Feb. 22 that Kinmen County is on track to being listed as FMD-free wit

The COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine announced Feb. 22 that Kinmen County is on track to being listed as FMD-free wit

Kinmen County is on track to being officially recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as foot-and-mouth disease-free with the use of vaccination, according to the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Feb. 22.
 
Bureau officials were notified by the OIE that the request for Kinmen to officially receive the designation has been recommended by the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases and is awaiting comment by OIE member countries. According to the commission, Kinmen’s FMD control efforts are in accordance with the world body’s standards.
 
The county is expected to receive the designation in May at this year’s OIE General Session, the bureau said. Following the positive decision, Kinmen will share the same status as the rest of the nation—Taiwan proper and the outlying islands of Penghu and Matsu—as an FMD-free zone, it added.
 
The OIE officially recognizes two FMD-free categories, with and without the use of vaccination. Taiwan proper, Penghu and Matsu were officially given the former designation in May 2017.
 
According to the BAPHIQ, the government is seeking to achieve the FMD-free without vaccination status for all regions of Taiwan by working closely with central and local government agencies, academic institutions and the private sector. Such measures include strengthening immunization and antibody surveillance strategies; monitoring activities at markets, rendering facilities and slaughterhouses; enhancing border control efforts; as well as encouraging farmers to obtain animal health certificates prior to selling their products, the bureau said.
 
In 2019, the bureau intends to submit applications to the world body for Taiwan proper, Penghu and Matsu to receive the FMD-free without vaccination status.
 
The nation recorded its first FMD case in 1997. After implementing a range of disease control measures, Taiwan was recognized by the OIE as FMD-free with the use of vaccination in 2003.
 
In 2009, FMD returned and the disease-free status was suspended. According to the bureau’s statistics, over 90 percent of local cloven-hoofed animals are vaccinated, with more than over 80 percent of that number effectively immunized. (KWS-E)