Taiwan Eradicates Foot and Mouth Disease|奮鬥24年 我終於從口蹄疫區除名

Taiwan has been removed from list of foot-and-mouth disease zones after 24 years of effort. The Council of Agriculture is optimistic about the export market at Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore. Meanwhile, selling to Japan and the United States will be still a long way to go as Taiwan remains a classical swine fever epidemic area.

The Council of Agriculture set off firecrackers on June 17 to celebrate the eradication of foot and mouth disease. Farmers and residents have been waiting to celebrate this for 24 years.

I'm a little distracted today, because my phone hasn't stop ringing since eight yesterday. I couldn't sleep the entire night. We spent a full four years on this, starting with the measure to end vaccination.

The so-called ending vaccinations refers to ending the administering of foot and mouth disease vaccines on July 1, 2018. That means that all the hogs are healthy now. We completed this task that seemed impossible 24 years ago. I think Deputy Minister Huang wasn't the only one who wasn't able to sleep last night. I bet many Taiwan farmers couldn't sleep either.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has now recognized Taiwan as a "FMD-free country where vaccination is not practiced." It took a lot of work to reach this point. On March 19, 1997, the first case of FMD was confirmed in Taiwan, and fresh pork exports were banned. In 2003, Taiwan marked two years without any new cases, but in 2009, the plan to end vaccinations failed. New efforts to eradicate the disease were launched in 2016. This time, it took years to achieve the goal of eliminating the disease from the Taiwan, Penghu, and Matsu region. On June 16, OIE members officially voted to remove Taiwan from the list of FMD countries.

We're very optimistic about exports, because our pork is different from American or Canadian pork. We aim to develop the markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Macau, including those for processed pork or fresh pork.

Taiwan's pork is relatively expensive, with a wholesale price of NT$61 to NT$63 per kilogram, compared to NT$50 for U.S. pork. China is currently dealing with African swine fever and COVID-19, and the COA believes it can develop markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau, which have large Chinese populations.

However, Taiwan remains a classical swine fever epidemic area. The COA says Japan and the U.S. have more stringent regulations than Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau, so Taiwan won't be able to export to those countries until it has eradicated swine fever. This will be the next big challenge.


農委會副主委 黃金城表示:「我今天精神有一點恍惚啦,因為昨天從8點多以後,手機(通知好消息)的聲音一直響,響了我整個晚上,都睡不好,花了4年的時間,把口蹄疫從開始規劃拔針,來到完成,整整4年的時間。」

農委會主委 陳吉仲表示:「所謂的拔針,就是2018年7月1號開始,就已經沒有施打口蹄疫的疫苗了,所以現在所有的豬隻都是健康的,達成24年以來,不可能的任務。我想昨天,不是只有黃副主委睡不著覺,可能很多台灣農民也睡不著覺。」


農委會主委 陳吉仲表示:「其實目前來講,我們對出口非常有信心,是因為我們豬肉跟美豬、加拿大豬等是不一樣的。從新加坡、香港、澳門,其實我們非常有潛力來發展(出口),包括加工的豬肉,或者是生鮮的豬肉。」