Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) A packet of pork, which was found discarded in a bin at Taipei Songshan Airport, has tested positive for African swine fever (ASF), bringing the total number of such cases to 26, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said Tuesday.
The packet of red sausages was discarded by passengers arriving from Fuzhou in China on Feb. 4, according to the BAPHIQ.
Samples of the sausage were sent to the Council of Agriculture's Animal Health Research Institute for laboratory testing and were found to contain sequences of the gene fragments identical to those of the swine fever virus strain in China, the BAPHIQ said.
The latest results brought the total number of products that have tested positive for ASF in Taiwan since last October to 26. One of the products was brought into Taiwan from Vietnam, while the others were either brought in from China or deemed highly likely to have originated in China, according to the BAPHIQ.
Since the first confirmed case of ASF was reported in China's Liaoning Province last August, Taiwan has been on high alert, concerned that the spread of the virus from China could devastate its NT$80 billion-a-year (US$2.59 billion) pig farming industry.
Although it does not affect humans, the virus is deadly to pigs and has no known cure or vaccine.