TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen held a talk with pig farmers and those working in the industry today in Yunlin County (雲林縣) hoping to up preventative measures against the spread of African swine fever.
Accompanied by Yunlin County magistrate Li Chin-yung (李進勇), Tsai unveiled new industry regulations and then went on to personally inspect the high-temperature food waste processing plant in Huwei (虎尾鎮), according to CNA.
Li indicated that Yunlin raises more than 1.45 million pigs and is Taiwan’s largest pork provider. Pigs raised for meat in the county account for 25% of the country’s total pig population.
Li said, since African swine fever became epidemic in China, the Executive Yuan has tightened border control measures in efforts to block pork imports. The government has requested all farmers who use cooked food waste as pig feed to ensure their equipment complies with national standards and that they follow all relevant regulations, implementing epidemic prevention guidelines, he added.
Li stated that Yunlin County government has conducted three cross-bureau reports on swine fever prevention and asked farmers to implement high-temperature cooking procedures, tighten controls on personnel and vehicles entering and leaving farms, and avoid visiting other pig farms.
Huwei’s high-temperature processing plant was established with NT$2.61 million granted by the Environmental Protection Association in 2001. It was the first high-temperature processing plant in Taiwan. At the time, there were no legal requirements regarding cooking temperatures for pig feed.
Legislation came in 2003 declaring food waste must be cooked to a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius for at least an hour.
African swine fever is a contagious and untreatable viral disease. Infected pigs exhibit symptoms in the form of high fevers and loss of appetite. Currently, the virus does not affect humans but scientists fear future mutations may be able to.