Premier calls for central-local cooperation in African swine fever prevention

  • Date: 2018-12-27
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At the Cabinet’s weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Lai Ching-te underscored the potentially devastating impact of African swine fever (ASF) in an appeal for vigilance to government officials, particularly newly installed mayors of special municipalities across the country.

Following a briefing by the Council of Agriculture (COA) on nationwide ASF countermeasures, the premier said all central government agencies must exhaust every effort to prevent ASF from spreading to Taiwan. Local governments must also work in concert with central authorities to contain the threat of the disease.

China has notified the World Organisation for Animal Health of ASF outbreaks in 23 provinces, and therefore Taiwan must maintain the strictest vigilance given the high volume of travel to and from China, the premier said. The Executive Yuan activated the Central Emergency Operation Center on December 18 to oversee prevention efforts, while city and local governments stand ready to set up local command centers should an infection appear in their jurisdiction.

The COA on Wednesday conducted emergency ASF quarantine exercises at Kaohsiung International Airport and Pingtung’s Yanpu Fish Harbor, Premier Lai continued. Noting that the virus spreads not only through meat, meat products and kitchen waste but also via machinery, vehicles and equipment, he asked all six special municipalities and other cities and counties to plan and implement the drills to keep potential outbreaks from further spreading.