In recent years, climate change and increasing international trade have caused the livestock industry to face a steadily growing threat from infectious animal diseases. As a result, livestock firms are in full readiness to defend themselves from the major infectious animal diseases currently raging at the international level (such as African swine fever, hog cholera, and bird flu, etc.). In order to prevent animal diseases from entered Taichung's livestock farms, the Health Inspection Office is continuing to intensify inspection visits to livestock and poultry facilities and boost awareness of livestock farm biosafety measures.
According to data from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Council of Agriculture, there have been 16 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Taiwan since the beginning of fall 2021. In addition, the repeated detection of the H5N1 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza in wetlands migratory birds has indicated that the risk of virus transmission by wild migratory birds is rising steadily. To avoid the risk of transmission of animal diseases, which has been worsened by climate change in recent years, the Health Inspection Office calls on livestock and poultry raisers to take this threat seriously, be sure to put up nets to keep out wild birds, and take such protective measures as controls on entering personnel and vehicles and disinfection inside and outside animal and poultry sheds.
To protect against outbreaks of African swine fever, the Council of Agriculture prohibited the transport and use of kitchen waste as pig food by pig raisers with at least 199 pigs starting from October 1, 2021. In addition, responding to disease control measures before the start of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Health Inspection Office has stepped up inspection visits to pig farms. Although this Office has found no violations, to ensure the safety of their animals, it will continue to keep pig raisers aware of the need for intensive disinfection and to avoid visits to livestock farms in countries with disease outbreaks. If any disease-related abnormalities are discovered in the animals at livestock and poultry farms, the Health Inspection Office must be immediately notified, so that it can take prompt response and control measures.
As the Lunar New Year holiday approaches, the Health Inspection Office will not relax its vigilance during the vacation period. To ensure that unscrupulous companies do not take advantage of this opportunity to illegally slaughter livestock or poultry, the Office plans to mobilize the "illegal slaughter joint investigative task force" on a more frequent basis. Apart from performing joint investigation of cases reported by the public, the task force will also perform inspections of traditional markets and other controlled points; if any dishonest merchants are found to be endangering public safety, they will be punished severely. The Health Inspection Office also calls on the public to look for poultry meat bearing a slaughter sanitation approval mark from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine and livestock meat products bearing an approval seal when purchasing meat products. The presence of these marks will ensure that the meat is healthy and safe, and keep the public's New Year a happy one.