TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese fresh pork exports to Macau are expected to resume next week after the country was declared a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free zone without vaccination last month.
Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城), deputy minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA), shared the news Friday evening (July 10) and expressed his excitement that Taiwan could once again export its pork products to the special administrative region after a 24-year hiatus. He said the country will start weekly shipments of products made from 200 swine once Macau makes an official announcement.
Following Taiwan's approval by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on June 16, the COA has been exploring trade talks with other countries, primarily Japan and Southeast Asian nations, Huang explained. He said Singapore is expected to make the first orders but that it has not yet sent inspection personnel to Taiwan due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Huang noted that Macau's casinos are in need of fresh pork and have signed deals with Taiwanese farms for 200 pigs' worth of meat per week to provide to visitors. He added that 550 kilograms of frozen pork had been shipped to Macau on a StarLux flight Friday morning as a trial run, reported CNA.
Taiwan was hit hard by the FMD outbreak in 1997 that resulted in a ban on its pork exports. In 2003, the country was designated an FMD-free zone where vaccination was still practiced, but it failed to terminate the FMD vaccination program until this year.