Taiwan free from FMD, confident in countering swine diseases

Disease prevention is the top priority for Taiwan’s animal husbandry authorities

Pigs. (Pixabay photo)

Pigs. (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s animal husbandry authorities expressed confidence in their ability to ward off swine illnesses as the island announced its successful eradication of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) 22 years after the first reported outbreak on the island.

According to Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA) Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲), disease prevention will become the top priority for the agency. Highly contagious diseases such as African swine fever and classical swine fever, also known as pig plague, are the two major animal health threats to Taiwan, the Liberty Times quoted him as saying.

According to Lai Shiow-suey (賴秀穗), a prominent Taiwanese expert in veterinary medicine, African swine fever in China has not yet peaked, and the country is struggling to wipe out classical swine fever as well. He made the case for enforced border controls, which he considers to be the most effective way of preventing the spread of the pig pandemics into Taiwan.

Outbreaks of swine flu have been reported in 13 European countries and 28 African countries over the past three years. In Asia, the illness has thus far made its way to six nations, including China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and North Korea, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), citing data from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Between now and next year, Taiwan will bolster measures to monitor classical swine fever, which has not been reported on the island for 13 years. It is possible that the virus has reduced in virulence, the COA said.