All regions of Taiwan officially recognized as FMD-free with vaccination
Penghu County Government 2018-05-29 497
Outlying Kinmen County was formally recognized as foot-and-mouth disease-free with the use of vaccination at the 86th General Session of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) May 20-25 in Paris.
With the official acknowledgement, all regions of Taiwan are listed as clear of FMD by the global body. In 2019, the government intends to submit applications for Taiwan proper as well as outlying Penghu and Lienchiang counties to receive FMD-free without vaccination status, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture.
Also at the General Session, it was announced that the acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease laboratory of National Cheng Kung University in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City has been named the world’s first official OIE reference laboratory for the illness, which predominantly affects farmed shrimp. Recognition for the facility highlights Taiwan’s commitment to promoting animal health and sharing its cutting-edge expertise in this field with the international community, the BAPHIQ said.
According to the bureau, the government is working to acquire similar status for other labs so as to transform Taiwan into a leading hub of animal health research and testing in Asia. Such efforts are also expected to further enhance food safety at home and abroad and strengthen international confidence in the quality of Taiwan agricultural products, it added.
After recording the first local case of FMD in 1997, Taiwan was listed by the OIE as free of the disease through the use of vaccination in 2003. Since the return of FMD in 2009, the BAPHIQ has overseen inoculation of over 90 percent of cloven-hoofed animals, with immunization coverage rates estimated by the bureau at more than 80 percent. (KWS-E)