During the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, border control remained on guard against African swine fever. The Council of Agriculture says during this period, there was a new record volume of meat products given up by travelers and the disease has shown no signs of slowing in China. In Taiwan, the Environmental Protection Administration inspected 174 hog farms that feed hogs kitchen waste. Thirty-four of the farms failed the inspection and have been fined under the Waste Disposal Act.
To ensure 100 percent of luggage is checked for meat products, X-ray machines were installed at Taoyuan International Airport before the nine-day Chinese New Year holiday. Additional staff was also sent to all airports and ports. A record 65 kilograms of meat products was seized from travelers between Jan. 25 and Feb. 10. Twenty foreign travelers were issued fines of NT$ 200,000, but over half, including an Israeli national, refused to pay.
In 11 of 20 cases, the traveler refused to pay (the fine) and was denied entry into Taiwan.
In related news, the number of hog farms in Taiwan uncertified to use kitchen waste as feed still stands at 582. Thirty-four of 174 farms inspected by the Environmental Protection Administration over the holiday were cited for failing to keep the required log of kitchen waste source and volume and were fined under the Waste Disposal Act. At the same time, there are concerns about the latest communication breakdown between the EPA and the Council of Agriculture. The council did not find out about the inspections until after the fact.
Yesterday, we used a window to contact the Environmental Protection Administration. They said they were still aggregating the latest data. So, we have not had any contact with them yet this morning.
China has so far confirmed 109 cases of African swine fever in 25 provinces and regions to the World Organisation for Animal Health. The council says a meat product from Shandong brought into Taiwan by a traveler tested positive for the disease, but Shandong was not on the list. According to the council, this shows the PRC government doesn't have any real idea of how widespread the outbreaks are. The council also responded to China's announcement that the outbreak already peaked earlier this year, saying it found the disease in 11 refined products in January and China's claim is untrue.