July 3, 2019
After 22 years, Taiwan declared free from FMD
Taiwan's animal husbandry authorities expressed confidence in their ability to ward off swine diseases as the island announced its successful eradication of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) 22 years after its first reported outbreak, Taiwan News reported.
According to Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA) Chen Chi-chung, disease prevention will become the top priority for the agency. Highly contagious diseases such as African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever are the two major animal health threats to Taiwan, he was quoted as saying.
Adds Lai Shiow-suey, a well-known Taiwanese expert in veterinary medicine, ASF in China has not peaked yet. He called for enforced border controls which he considers to be the most effective way of preventing the spread of ASF to Taiwan.
From now till next year, Taiwan will strengthen the monitoring of classical swine fever, which has not been reported on the island for 13 years. It is possible that the virus has reduced in virulence, the COA says.