Taiwan finds pork on Chinese fishing vessel amid African swine fever scare

China | 20 Dec 2018 11:46 am

As Taiwan has geared up to ward off African swine fever virus, some 5.7 kilograms of pork were found on a Chinese fishing boat poaching in Taiwan waters by the Coast Guard Administration on Tuesday.

According to the Keelung branch of the CGA, the Chinese Minjinyu 05812 fishing boat was found operating illegally some 18.2 kilometers from Pengchiayu Islet off Keelung City in northern Taiwan at around 5 p.m. Tuesday, after it sent two vessels to investigate the situation following a tipoff.

After ordering the Minjingyu 05182 to stop, Keelung CGA officers said they found 4.4 kg of raw pork in a refrigerator and 1.32 kg of pork being cooked on a stove, CNA reports.

The Minjingyu 05182, with a 14-member crew, was then towed by a coastal patrol vessel to the Chengpin fishing port, where it was examined by quarantine inspectors the following morning.

According to the Keelung unit of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, all the pork was disinfected, sealed and kept in the refrigerator aboard the ship.

As the pork had not been brought into Taiwan, however, no fine will be issued for the Chinese fishing ship and it will be told to sail back to China, the bureau said.

But it added that a fine will be issued for poaching in Taiwanese waters, its catch was tossed into the sea and its fishing equipment confiscated.

The incident came at a time when Taiwan has stepped up quarantine inspections against ASF at seaports and airports across the country due to a spread of the infectious disease among pigs in China, which has extended its reach to 23 provinces, cities and areas, with Guangdong province being the latest victim.

Taiwan fears that the virus might enter the country and devastate the local hog-farming industry, which has a production value of NT$170 billion (US$5.52 billion) per year.

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