TAIPEI (CNA) — Some 200 hogs on farms in Kinmen County have tested negative for African swine fever (ASF), the Central Emergency Operation Center said on Jan. 5, after an ASF infected pig carcass was found on a beach in the island county earlier in the week.
Taiwan has been on high alert since Thursday when tissue samples taken from the carcass, which was found on a beach in Jinsha Township, confirmed Thursday that it was infected with ASF.
To date, it is not known whether the dead hog floated to Kinmen from China or came from a local farm, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.
As a precautionary measure, quarantine personnel were dispatched the following day to 10 hog farms within a five-kilometer radius of the beach to collect tissue samples for ASF testing.
However, the laboratory results showed that the virus had not infected nearby pig farms, the center said, adding that authorities will continue to monitor all farms in Kinmen for possible ASF infections.
Currently, there are about 11,000 pigs on 68 farms in Kinmen, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).
Since the first confirmed case of ASF was reported in China’s Liaoning Province in last August, Taiwan has been on high alert, worried that an outbreak of the deadly virus could devastate its NT$80 billion (US$2.58 billion) pig farming industry.
Also on Jan. 5, members of a youth hog association in Taiwan said they will take to the streets on Jan. 9 to call on the COA to impose a nationwide ban on the use of food waste as pig feed, a practice that is common in Taiwan and could be a major means of spreading the virus.
By Yu Hsiao-han and Ko Lin