TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Yunlin County has become the first region to ban using food waste as pig feed in the face of a potential African swine fever epidemic.
The announcement came from newly-elected Yunlin magistrate Chang Li-shan (張麗善). The new rule is imposed with immediate effect.
Chang attended her first local government meeting yesterday (Dec. 25) where she appealed to township heads to cooperate with local pig farmers to help implement the measure, with those failing to adhere to the new rule subject to fines under the Waste Disposal Act.
President Tsai Ing-wen held a talk in Yunlin County on Dec. 22, hoping to up preventative measures against the spread of the disease. Along with former Yunlin County magistrate Li Chin-yung (李進勇), she went to personally inspect the county’s largest high-temperature food waste processing plant. Feeding hogs food scraps has now been banned in the region entirely, however.
The African swine fever virus was first discovered among a batch of pigs in China’s Liaoning Province in August this year. Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture has blamed the Chinese government’s lack of transparency on the issue for its continued spread across the country.
Taiwan has upped security measures at airports to prevent people bringing pork into the country and slapped heavy fines on rule transgressors. Despite this, many continue to attempt bringing in pork from China, claiming ignorance of the country’s customs regulations.
There have still been no reported domestic cases of African swine fever. An outbreak could cause severe losses to Taiwan’s NT$150 billion hog farming industry.