Taiwan’s Battle Against African Swine Fever Gets Political on PTT

Discussion on PTT, Taiwan’s largest online forum, has taken a political tone regarding African swine fever.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/01/11
By: I-fan Lin, Global Voices

Credit: HolyMosquito / Facebook

When a dead pig washed ashore on Kinmen Island, Taiwan on Dec. 31, it was more than just a sad sight.

The pig carcass tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF). Although it is harmless to humans, ASF is highly contagious among pigs. It cannot be cured or prevented by vaccine and can be spread by live or dead pigs, as well as by pork products. Since August 2018, the deadly pig virus has swept across China, leading to the culling of more than 600,000 pigs.

In the fall of 2018, sausages from China that had been exported to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand tested positive for the virus. Experts are worried that if the virus continues to spread, it will bring economic catastrophe to multiple Asian countries.

In September 2018, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations held an emergency meeting and sent warnings about the spread of ASF to officials from Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

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