July 5, 2024


Taiwan aims for swine fever free status in 2024


Taiwan has applied for swine fever free status from the World Organisation for Animal Health, Taipei Times reported.


Taiwan's Ministry of Agriculture applied for this status after a year without any swine fever cases and ceasing the requirement for domestically grown swine to be inoculated.


If approved, this would mark a significant milestone for Taiwan's swine farming industry, demonstrating the elimination of foot and mouth disease, African swine fever (ASF), and classical swine fever. The status would also help expand the international market for Taiwanese pork.


Swine fever is a category-A zoonotic disease in Taiwan with a high mortality rate, causing systemic haemorrhaging and stillbirths in pigs. Countries must report swine fever cases to the WOAH.


While most Asian nations have been affected by swine fever-related diseases, Taiwan's last detected case was in Changhua County in 2005.


The government planned to achieve swine fever-free status in three phases. From 2021 to 2022, all domestically reared swine were vaccinated against swine fever. The government monitored environmental risks and communicated with the swine farming industry.


Last year, the second phase began with continued environmental monitoring and a gradual cessation of swine fever vaccine injections. The third phase, starting this month, involved filing an application for swine fever-free status.


The gradual discontinuation of vaccinations was implemented in two stages. From January to June last year, vaccinations were no longer required except for breeding swine. Since July last year, all swine have been exempted from vaccination.


"We have found no traces of swine fever field virus strains after closely monitoring for one year, meeting the WOAH's requirement for applying to become a swine fever-free nation," the ministry stated.


Achieving swine fever-free status would reduce the cost of raising swine by cutting expenses on personnel and vaccines. It would also minimize financial losses from vaccination side effects, enhancing the global competitiveness of Taiwanese pork.


The ministry plans further actions to help the pork industry cope with free trade challenges, including negotiating with target countries for pork exports and assisting swine farms and slaughterhouses in upgrading facilities and obtaining certifications.


-      Taipei Times