Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA) told reporters today that a dead pig found washed up on Jinsha Beach in Kinmen County, December 31, has been confirmed to be infected with the African Swine Fever virus, and originated in China.
As a result of the finding, all pork meat, and pork-related products originating on the islands of Kinmen will be banned from entering Taiwan for a period of two weeks, as pigs on the 68 hog farms in Kinmen are tested and monitored for the virus.
At a press conference convened this evening, December 3, COA officials said that laboratory tests had confirmed the presence of viral DNA in the dead pig, and the DNA matched 100% with isolates from affected pigs in China.
Considering the DNA analysis, along with wind and ocean drift patterns that cause hundreds of metric tons of garbage from China to wash up on Kinmen’s beaches every year, the COA researchers have determined that the dead pig originated in China, and drifted across the narrow strait that separates the Chinese mainland with the Taiwanese controlled islands of Kinmen.
The COA said that they have informed Chinese authorities via email about the infected pig, and urged the Chinese to bring the epidemic under control, and to control the disposal of dead pigs affected by the virus so they don’t drift to Kinmen.
Responding to media questions, Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲), acting Minister of the COA said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, China’s stance has been to not respond to inquiries from authorities in Taiwan.
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