Taiwan intercepts ASF-infected pork

Meanwhile, further outbreaks of African swine fever have also been reported in India and the Philippines.

Top View Of Pork Bones As A Background In The Market For Sale At
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As well as identifying a pig carcass infected with African swine fever (ASF) washed up on its shores, Taiwan reports it has recently intercepted several ships carrying pork infected with the virus.

Authorities in Taiwan have broken up a chain in the illegal trading of pork from China.

According to Taiwan News, several ships were intercepted this week. They were reported to be carrying substantial amounts of smuggled pork infected with African swine fever (ASF) from China. Also because of concerns about travelers bringing infected meat into Taiwan from ASF-affected areas, the border authorities have stepped up baggage checks. Fine for a first offense is TWD200,000 (US$6,260), and each subsequent violation could cost the perpetrator up to TWD1 million.

One month ago, a pig carcass that washed up on the shore of Kinmen tested positive for the ASF virus. Because of its proximity to China, it is not unusual for carcasses to be found around Kinmen, reported Focus Taiwan.

The infected carcass was destroyed by the authorities in Taiwan. While pig movements in the area were temporarily suspended, checks on nearby farms revealed no cases of ASF.

New cases of ASF reported in the Philippines

In the past few days, suspected cases of ASF have occurred in the Western Visayas, according to the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This region lies between the largest islands of Luzon and Mindanao.

After suspicions of the disease in Aklan and Iloilo, pig owners in the neighboring province of Antique have called for increased border controls on the movements of live pigs and pork. Meanwhile, authorities in Negros Occidental in the same region have halted the entry of the animals and their products from the islands of Panay and Guimaras because of their proximity to Iloilo.

This week, PNA reported that a pork festival had been held in Zamboanga City. Located in the west of Mindanao, this area has recently experienced ASF outbreaks in seven city districts. More than 4,100 pigs belong to 1,013 owners in the city. Aim of the festival was to promote local pork as being safe to eat.

Previous ASF outbreaks have occurred in Pangasinan province in the Ilocos region of western Luzon. To fill the gap in the local pork market, the provincial government has approved a new hog farm. According to PNA, the cost is estimated at PHP91.49 million (US$1.55 million). Endorsed by the Department of Agriculture, the Sunjin Farm Solutions farm will reach full annual capacity of 1,775 metric tons in 2026. Described as “semi-conventional,” the new facility will incorporate strict biosecurity, and will not use antibiotics.

ASF developments elsewhere in Asia

In South Korea, no new cases of ASF have been reported since the beginning of this month.

According to Pig People on October 12, the number of cases — 2,661 in wild boar and 27 in domestic pigs — have remained unchanged since the end of September. The country’s first cases were detected in September 2019.

At the end of last month, confirmatory tests from a suspected outbreak involving pigs in the city of Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi province were negative.

In Myanmar, the ASF situation has been “resolved.” This is according to a recent notification from the national veterinary agency to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

Approximately two years ago, two outbreaks were confirmed in the northwestern region of Sagaing. Affected were a total of around 940 pigs in two backyard herds. No further cases have been detected, and the event was closed in March 2021.

In the north Indian state of Haryana, restrictions were imposed in the district of Ambala at the end of September.

Approximately 600 pigs at a farm were scheduled for culling, reported Tribune India, while movement bans and surveillance were put in place. There were no other pig farms in the immediate vicinity, but there are around 7,000 animals in the nearby district of Naraingarh. Source of the infection was tentatively linked to recent outbreaks in the neighboring state of Punjab.

Haryana is the 15th Indian state to report ASF cases so far this year.

Meanwhile, in the Thrissur district of the southern state of Kerala, pigs at a farm have tested positive for the ASF virus. According to One India, all movements of live pigs, their products, and feed within one kilometer of the farm have been suspended.

View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.

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