Taiwan company invents quick test for African swine fever

Test only applicable for live animals

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An archive photo of hogs at a farm.

An archive photo of hogs at a farm. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - It is possible to find out within 10 minutes whether a hog has contracted African swine fever, thanks to a test developed by a Taiwanese biotechnology firm, the Central News Agency reported Saturday (April 13).

The method was one of only two such tests available in the world, but it worked only with live animals, not with carcasses or with pork products such as sausages, according to the report.

There were no plans to use the test in Taiwan, CNA reported, with African swine fever only having been diagnosed in dead hogs washed ashore from China and in meat products brought in by travelers.

The new test did not have to be conducted inside a laboratory, but could happen right at the farm or on the road, said the company, Excelsior Bio-System Inc.

A similar test developed in Spain only worked later in the development of African swine fever, making the Taiwanese invention quicker and more effective, officials said.

In a reaction, the Council of Agriculture said that since Taiwan was not an area affected by African swine fever, it would not use the newly developed method. The priority was on preventing tainted meat products from entering the country, CNA reported.