TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In response to consumer fears surrounding the potential spread of African swine fever from China, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Agriculture (COA) under the Executive Yuan reassured people that pork products in Taiwan are safe to eat.
COA Dep. Chairman Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) emphasized that Taiwanese pork products remain clean and edible. The problem facing the government is one of protecting the domestic stock, and keeping contaminated products from entering the country.
In an address to citizens of Taiwan broadcast on Yahoo TV, Monday, Dec. 24, Huang explained the current situation involving the two strains so far discovered of African swine fever, or ASF.
The strain currently wreaking havoc in China is what Huang called a “super virus” which is incredibly lethal for the pigs infected.
If it were to spread throughout Taiwan it, could be far more damaging than the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak which occurred in between 1997 and 2000. The only solution is for the livestock to be culled, reports LTN quoting Huang.
In response to questions from the media, Huang sought to dispel the rumors that livestock in Taiwan had been infected with ASF. Huang said there is no problem at all with pork in Taiwan, and if the government’s preventative efforts are successful, it should remain that way.
If the livestock in Taiwan does become infected, it will not only cause damage restaurants and make pork dishes unavailable to consumers, but it would also prove devastating to pig farmers in the country, and businesses which rely on the pork industry.
In recent days, Taoyuan International Airport customs agents continue to report cases of Chinese travelers bringing pork products into Taiwan, despite ample warning, and the threat of a NT$200,000 fine (US$6,000). Chinese media has been accused of failing to inform Chinese citizens about the severity of the ASF crisis facing their country.
File photo: COA Dep. Chairman Huang Chin-cheng (CNA Photo)