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TAIPEI - Taiwan has begun testing hog herds and putting in place movement controls near where a dead pig infected with African swine fever washed ashore over the weekend, the government said on Tuesday, as it works to ensure the island remains free of the disease.
Taiwan has been on guard against the infection reaching them after the deadly virus ravaged farms in neighbouring China during 2018 and 2019, and is once again affecting the world's most populous country.
In a statement, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung said a dead pig washed ashore in northern Taiwan on Sunday and was on Monday confirmed to have the virus, which he said was a perfect match for the strain circulating in China.
While pig herds in the nearby area are after initial inspections in good health, the government has already enacted steps to ensure no infection, Chen said.
Eleven piggeries with 2,719 head of animals within a 10 km (6.2 miles) radius of where the dead pig was discovered have had their movements restricted, which also goes for workers and vehicles at the farms, he added.
Tests are also being carried out on the pigs, Chen said.
"We are also requiring all slaughter house veterinarians across the country to strengthen pre- and post-mortem inspections."
While dead, infected pigs have washed ashore on Taiwan-controlled islands which sit right next to China, this is the first time one has been discovered on the main island of Taiwan.
The government has also asked the coast guard to step up their patrols to prevent dead pigs from floating across to Taiwan, Chen added. REUTERS