Samples from dead Kinmen hog to be delivered for testing

A dead hog was found on Dec. 31 on a beach in Kinmen County by coast Guard personnel just kilometers away from China’s southeastern coast, raising concerns over the possibility of an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China spreading to Taiwan. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Samples taken from a pig carcass found in Kinmen County were sent to the Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) for testing on Jan. 2, with the results expected to be available within 24 hours, the Council of Agriculture said a day earlier.

The dead hog was found on Dec. 31 on a beach in Kinmen County by coast Guard personnel just kilometers away from China’s southeastern coast, raising concerns over the possibility of an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China spreading to Taiwan.

However, an initial examination of the carcass gave no indication that the animal was infected with the virus. Kinmen County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center Director Wen Shui-cheng (文水成) will personally deliver the samples to the AHRI, according to Chiu Chui-chang (邱垂章), head of the COA’s research institute.

According to Hsu Jung-bin (徐榮彬), a senior official with the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), the carcass has already been incinerated, and it was not immediately known whether the dead hog floated to Kinmen from China or came from a local farm.

The shortest distance between Kinmen and Fujian is only 2.8 kilometers.

If the test results come back positive, the Kinmen authorities will have no option but to close off all the farms to inspect each of the 10,000 hogs currently raised in the county for possible ASF infection.

Should any of the locally farmed pigs be found to have contracted ASF, the authorities will cull hogs there to prevent the spread of the disease, Hsu said.

By Yang Shu-min and Ko Lin