The Cabinet on Thursday approved draft revisions to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease to ensure that the government remains capable of closely and effectively monitoring epidemics internationally and to prevent the spread of disease into Taiwan. The partial draft amendments, prepared by the Council of Agriculture, now go to the Legislature for review and debate.
Premier Su Tseng-chang said that in addition to expanding the scope of infectious animal disease testing and improving the efficiency of the testing itself, the draft revisions clearly define prohibited conduct and behavior as well as associated penalties. Also to be added are strengthened inspections and controls on animals entering and leaving the country in order to thwart the online purchase and importation of controlled animals. The governing authority will also be empowered to take such steps as determining and announcing categories of products subject to inspection.
With Taiwan at a critical point in bringing a 23-year fight against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to a successful conclusion with its application to the World Organisation for Animal Health as a territory free of FMD without the use of vaccines, Premier Su emphasized the necessity of watertight prevention efforts against infectious animal diseases to protect domestic industry and ensure the prosperity and well-being of Taiwan's people.