TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC) plans to scale back its pig farming in Vietnam by closing its largest facility in the country and investing NT$10.7 billion (US$369 million) in remodeling its existing swine operations in Taiwan, according to a Liberty Times report on Monday (Dec. 14).
TSC began its pig farming business in Vietnam in 1997, but the company faced a strong challenge in February last year with the spread of African swine fever (ASF) transmitted from China. In six months, ASF swept Vietnam, and six million pigs were culled.
TSC dealt with the crisis by cutting down its pig farming in the country by 50 percent last year as well as by placing “sentinel pigs” in outposts near its two main locations as a warning mechanism.
Currently, the company has over 3,000 pigs at its two main farms, compared to 35,000 in its heyday. Given that birds and other animals can also be disease vectors as well as the poor condition of the sentinel pigs, TSC has decided to close its largest pig farm in Vietnam and scale down the rest of its operations in the country.
In contrast, Taiwan has the advantage of having successfully staved off ASF as well as the distinction of having fended off foot and mouth disease without the use of vaccines, as recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). TSC has decided to spend a total of NT$10.7 billion remodeling its existing pig farms in Taiwan.
After the improvements, the pig farms will have ventilated tunnel systems, reduced odor, and less water consumption.