FOOT-AND-MOUTH FIGHT: More than two decades after an outbreak of the disease forced a halt to the nation’s pork exports, the council celebrated a key milestone
Date: Jul 02, 2019
By: Chien Hui-ju / Staff reporter
The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday announced that foot-and-mouth disease has beeneliminated from Taiwan, as no case had been detected in the past year, without vaccination, 23 years after an outbreak put a halt to the nation’s pork exports.
“I hereby announce that Taiwan, Penghu and Matsu have succeeded in ‘pulling the vaccine needles’ [prevention without vaccination],” COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference in Taipei.
The council would apply by September for the nation to be removed from the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIA) list of foot-and-mouth disease-free zones where vaccination is practiced, which would mean it could officially declare itself to be free of foot-and-mouth disease next year, he said.
The 1997 outbreak stopped the export of pork products to Japan, and in the years since then, the number of pigs raised in Taiwan fell from more than 10 million to about 5 million, while the number of pig farms plunged from about 25,000 to 7,200. [FULL STORY]