Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday convened representatives from special municipalities, cities and counties to explain and discuss preventive measures against African swine fever (ASF), including a reduction in the use of kitchen waste in pig feed.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide local governments with a better understanding of the central government's ASF measures. The discussions and experiences shared at the meeting will be useful for blocking the virus from entering Taiwan, but also for devising rapid response and containment measures should an outbreak occur in the country, the premier said.
Human leftover food is one of the mediums through which the ASF virus can be spread among pigs, the premier pointed out. So far 357 hog farms have registered with the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) as using approved high-temperature steaming or boiling equipment, and these farms may continue feeding the swill to pigs. Another 1,155 farms have yet to be inspected, however. The Council of Agriculture has announced that those not obtaining EPA approval within one week will be prohibited from using swill.
Also during the meeting, Premier Lai asked the local government chiefs and representatives to detail their own ASF measures, including the timeframe and substance of quarantine exercises, and in particular the pigswill reduction measures. The premier then gave several directives, and encouraged local and central governments to work together to incorporate hog farmer groups and the wider public in the rollout of the preventive measures.