World Organization for Animal Health designates Taiwan FMD-free
Taiwan is designated foot and mouth disease free where vaccination is not practiced by Paris-headquartered World Organization for Animal Health. (Courtesy of Liu Kwang-yin)
Taiwan is designated foot and mouth disease free where vaccination is not practiced by Paris-headquartered World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs June 16.
The new status, which applies to Taiwan and outlying Matsu and Penghu islands, was welcomed by the MOFA. The result is testament to the commitment and hard work of the government and people of Taiwan, the ministry said, adding that no effort is being spared in maintaining heightened vigilance given the ever-present threat posed by FMD and other diseases like African swine fever.
It is expected the OIE designation will pave the way for Taiwan to resume pork exports suspended after an FMD outbreak in 1997. The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture will take the lead on raising the international profile of the country’s pork products and developing market opportunities.
FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease affecting the production of livestock, as well as disrupting regional and international trade in animals and related products. It affects swine, cattle, goats, sheep and other cloven-hoofed mammals.
Established in 1924, OIE promotes global cooperation on animal health, ensures safe trade of livestock, and sets standards for hygiene inspection and quarantine. Taiwan joined the 128-member intergovernmental agency in 1954.