Dead Pigs Along the River in Pingtung County Raise African Swine Fever Fears

pingtung african swine fever
Dead pigs that had been dumped along the river in Pingtung County have raised concerns that African swine fever could spread to Taiwan. Photo courtesy Pingtung County government

Authorities discovered 11 dead pigs dumped along the Longjing River in Neipu Township, Pingtung County, on June 10. The carcasses were sent to locals labs for testing to ensure they didn’t carry any diseases such as African swine fever and the area where they were found was disinfected as a precaution, Apple Daily reported. All tests returned negative.

The county agricultural authority advised farmers to manage livestock to prevent the occurrence of African swine fever. Authorities noted that farmers often dump dead livestock in the wilderness, and they are encouraging farmers to end the practice.

Huang Kuo-jung (黃國榮), Pingtung’s Department of Agriculture head, urged farmers to keep dead pigs on the farm and inform the authorities so they can run tests. Huang added that the county will step up monitoring to end the illegal dumping practice.

The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) has stepped up efforts to locate livestock discarded in the wilderness and disinfect the areas. But the agency needs help from farmers to prevent a potential epidemic. The Council of Agriculture added that there is no vaccine for African swine fever and all pigs diagnosed with the disease must be immediately culled as the disease is highly contagious and can affect pigs of all ages.

With the spread of African swine fever across China and Vietnam, Taiwan is on high alert to prevent the livestock disease from entering the country. There have been at least 143 reported cases in China and another 2,803 in Vietnam.

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