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Potential Spread of ASF from China to Taiwan


Taiwan has reported the recovery of a dead hog on a beach on an off-shore island presumably having drifted from mainland China. Routine sampling demonstrated that the hog had died from African Swine Fever. This represents an immediate danger to the herd of approximately 5.5 million hogs on Taiwan and has the potential to disrupt the Nation’s supply of pork.

The Government of China is more alarmed over the epidemiologic and social implications of the current ASF outbreak that now involves 100 confirmed cases in 23 provinces and municipalities. China has demonstrated typical lack of transparency with regard to the number of hogs having been depleting in an attempt to control the infection. Apart from the 80,000 hogs in a joint-venture multiplier operation in Heilojiang Province during the last week of December, as many as 700,000 hogs have either died of the disease or have been killed. This is a small number compared to the 700 million on farms ranging in size from family units to integrations.

The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is intensifying epidemiologic investigations as to mechanisms of spread and will punish producers who deviate from regulations relating to feeding swill, quarantine and disposal.

It will be remembered that with the advent of PED in China, disposal of dead hogs was a problem and in many cases, farmers resorted to dumping carcasses in rivers, which presumably is the origin of the dead hog which washed up on the Taiwan island.