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African swine fever threatens every country: OIE

Eloit expresses doubts about implementation of preventative measures in China

Swine farm

Swine farm (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — African swine fever will continue its expansion across Asia, with no country able to stay completely outside its reach, the head of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) told the Reuters Wednesday (Oct. 30).

Taiwan has so far succeeded in eluding the virus due to strict border controls and checks on passengers arriving from affected countries. However, the fact that the threat is global is partly due to the wide range of modes of contamination, including travelers carrying pork products to other countries and discarding them there, where they could be recycled to feed local animals, according to OIE Director General Monique Eloit.

Eloit said she fails to see any signs of improvement in the short term, with a high likelihood of more outbreaks occurring in affected countries and expanding into neighboring areas, Reuters reported.

Regarding China, Eloit expressed satisfaction with preventative measures announced by the authorities but questioned whether they would be fully implemented in such a large country. The communist country says the number of its hogs had been reduced by 40 percent this year as of September, but the true situation is believed to be worse by industry insiders, according to Reuters.