Agriculture Secretary William Dar has admitted the government cannot yet declare the dreaded African swine fever incidents in several areas in Luzon contained or controlled.
Dar’s admission came Friday as South Korea and the Philippines have been listed as among countries barred from transporting pork and its products to Taiwan following the deletion of their recognition as nations free of ASF.
Dar said cooperation by the public was needed, noting, in an interview with GMA News heard nationwide, “Hog raisers, the hog traders and those who are still selling swill feeds, must stop selling already because these are the very sources.”
He added animal quarantine checkpoints should be strengthened.
“Checkpoints are properly manned. We have to enhance that. If there are meat being transported without documents, we must confiscate that. Hogs being transported without documents, we must confiscate those things. That’s the only way we can contain and control this disease,” he explained.
In Taipei, government authorities have intensified their campaign against the entry of meat, canned goods, and meat products in all sea and airport terminals, and imposed higher penalties for violators.
It imposed tighter border controls for visitors from the Philippines and Korea as these Southeast Asian countries confirmed an outbreak of ASF.
This makes the Philippines and Korea the eighth and ninth Asian nations to have recorded ASF cases, following China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, and Myanmar.
In a meeting with the International Press Officers covering the Double Tenth National Day, Dr. Mei-Yi Hsu, section chief of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said violators would be subject to a fine of NT$200,000 ($6,350) for importing pork products, and those who fail to pay the fine would be denied entry to the island.