ASF preliminarily ruled out as cause of Hualien pig deaths

Taipei, An initial examination conducted on the carcasses of several abandoned pigs found in Hualien County has shown that the deaths appear to be unrelated to African swine fever (ASF), a senior official with the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said Tuesday.

A necropsy conducted by veterinarians from the county's Animal and Plant Disease Control Center has preliminarily ruled out ASF as the cause of the deaths, BAPHIQ Secretary-General Cheng Chun-pin said.

Samples collected from the pigs have been sent for testing to confirm the cause of the deaths, and results are expected to be available within 24 hours, Cheng said.

Earlier in the day, six dead pigs were found dumped in a gutter under a bridge in Shoufeng Township by a local resident, who then immediately notified the local authorities of the discovery.

The virus, which causes high mortality rates in pigs, was first reported in August this year in China's Liaoning Province, prompting the Chinese government to cull tens of thousands of pigs.

The Taiwanese government is currently working all out to prevent ASF from reaching the country, including encouraging the nation's pig farmers to stop using household swill for feed, a practice that is common in Taiwan.

Cheng urged the public not to create unnecessary panic by spreading false information of an ASF outbreak.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel