Hualien dead pigs test negative for African swine fever - Focus Taiwan

Hualien dead pigs test negative for African swine fever

Photo courtesy of a member of the public
Photo courtesy of a member of the public

Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) Six dead pigs found dumped in a gutter in the eastern county of Hualien have tested negative for the highly contagious African swine fever (ASF), a Council of Agriculture (COA) official said Wednesday.

Chiu Chui-chang (邱垂章), head of the council's Animal Health Research Institute, said veterinarians have also ruled out the possibility of foot-and-mouth disease and are still trying to pinpoint the cause of death.

Samples taken from the carcasses were sent to the institute for laboratory testing a day earlier after the pigs were found abandoned in a gutter under a bridge in Hualien's Shoufeng Township. The news of the abandoned pigs drew nationwide attention and sparked fears that the pigs were infected with ASF.

The virus, which causes high mortality rates in pigs, was first reported in August this year in China's Liaoning Province, prompting the Chinese government to cull tens of thousands of pigs.

The Taiwanese government is currently working all out to prevent ASF from reaching the country, including encouraging the nation's pig farmers to stop using household swill for feed, a practice that is common in Taiwan.

(By Yang Shu-min and Christie Chen)

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