Taiwan set to export pork again after 23 years hiatus

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TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Members of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) will vote on Monday to determine whether Taiwan can regain its status as a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free country without vaccination.

Once the change of status is approved, Taiwan might be able to regain the multi-billion pork exporting business it used to enjoy 23 years ago.

The FMD virus, named “O/Taiwan/97,” is highly contagious, airborne and can only infect pigs, even though it is also capable of living in the human respiratory system for weeks.

In March 1997, several cases of FMD were discovered in a slaughterhouse in Hsinchu county.

In the months ensued, the situation escalated into five thousand swineherds losing their jobs, soldiers performing mess pig electrocution and an estimated loss of NT$$212 billion in the industry.

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