OIE plans to establish an East Asian task force against ASF
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) plans to establish an East Asian task force to combat the spread of African swine fever (ASF), which would include Taiwan, informs the Taiwanese Council of Agriculture.
Given the grave threat posed by the disease, the OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific wants to bring together officials from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia and the two Koreas, with the first meeting to be held next month, according to Taipei Times.
Taiwan has declared a state of alert since the first outbreak was reported in China and by now 319 travellers have been fined NT$15,000 ($486) each for trying to bring meat products into Taiwan from areas affected by ASF or foot-and-mouth disease.
Of the 534 meat products it has confiscated for testing, only three packages of Chinese sausages — intercepted at airports in Taichung and Kaohsiung and a harbour in Kinmen County — were found to have the ASF virus, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.
A bill that stipulates a rise of fines from NT$ 15,000 to NT$ 1,000,000 has not yet been promulgated by the Presidential Office. However, following the example of Vietnam, Taiwan is preparing a drill for Friday next week that would simulate an outbreak of ASF in Pingtung County’s Kanding Township and Yanpu Fishing Port, as well as at Kaohsiung International Airport, with personnel from the Coast Guard Administration and the Customs Administration taking part, announced Huang Chin-cheng, Deputy Minister of the Council of Agriculture.
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