Dead pig found in downtown Taipei: TAPO

01/07/2019 08:44 PM
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Photo courtesy of Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TAPO)
Photo courtesy of Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TAPO)

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) The body of a dead pig was found in downtown Taipei on Monday amid mounting concerns over the threat of African swine fever (ASF) entering the country.

The pig carcass was found in Taipei's Da'an District after being reported by a member of the public, according to the Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TAPO). It suspected that the animal was a pet pig that was fed by a homeless person.

The pig was judged to have been dead for some time as its body was slightly swollen and showed redness on its abdomen, the office said, and the animal's carcass has been sent to a laboratory in Tamsui in New Taipei to determine the cause of death.

Results are expected in three days.

Despite the recent ASF scare, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) seemed to downplay the case, at least for the time being, saying that not every pig's death is related to ASF and that the cause of death could be any of several reasons.

The TAPO, however, was not taking any chances. It decided to disinfect the area where the dead pig was found and conduct a preliminary investigation to see if any pigs within a three-kilometer radius showed any abnormal signs.

Photo courtesy of Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TAPO)

The discovery of the dead pig in Taipei follows the recent finding of two pig carcasses along the shoreline of offshore Kinmen County, with one confirmed Thursday to be infected with the ASF virus.

Since then, quarantine measures have been tightened in Kinmen, which lies less than 10 kilometers off China's coast, to include a two-week ban on the shipment of meat products to Taiwan proper.

Since the first confirmed case of ASF was reported in China's Liaoning Province last August, Taiwan has been on high alert, worried that the spread of the virus from China would devastate the country's NT$80 billion-a-year (US$2.59 billion) pig farming industry.

Though it does not affect humans, the virus is deadly to pigs, and there is no known vaccine or cure for it.

(By Liang Pei-chi, Chen Yi-hsuan, Yang Shu-min and William Yen)


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