Premier praises advance action against African swine fever, calls for vigilance

  • Date: 2018-12-18
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday attended the Central Emergency Operation Center’s first interministerial meeting on the prevention of African swine fever (ASF), where he said that although there have been no reported cases of the disease in Taiwan, the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) activation of the operation center in advance shows determined resolve to stop the virus from entering. The premier applauded the council’s move as worthy of encouragement.

Premier Lai likened epidemic prevention work to joining battle, with every step in the operation requiring careful attention to ensure execution. One weak link in the chain would be enough to doom the entire endeavor to failure. The premier called on all sectors of society to join in the fight and contribute to a successful prevention effort.

ASF has broken out in 22 provinces in China, according to reports from the World Organisation for Animal Health, and the current situation is dire, said Premier Lai. With as many as 8 million trips taken annually across the strait separating Taiwan from China, the threat of a disastrous epidemic domestically is ever present, making vigilance an absolute necessity.

The premier asked the COA to arrange inspection tours of customs operations, livestock farms and Kinmen’s mini-three links (direct trade, postal and transport links with China) so that he can personally inspect the key components of disease control work. The COA was also instructed to organize anti-ASF mobilization drills for central and local government officials nationwide.

The most important tasks at hand are to prevent ASF infections and keep the virus from breaching Taiwan’s borders, Premier Lai said, asking agencies to do their part and take every possible precaution. He directed the COA to assist city and county governments in bringing their hog farms into compliance with biosafety requirements and setting up preventive measures ahead of any possible outbreaks.