The Agriculture Council announced yesterday the ban on Japanese imports of pork after reporting another case of classical swine fever or porcine cholera.
The disease is different from African swine fever that affects China, the council said.
Japan on September 9 reported its first case of classical swine fever in 26 years to the World Organization for Animal Health, which suspended its status as an uninfected area, the Animal and Plant Health and Quarantine Inspection Office said in a statement .
After taking note of the second case in Japan on Friday, the council imposed an immediate ban on imports of Japanese pork and pork products to protect the domestic pork industry from being affected by the fatal disease.
Classic swine fever is a ribonucleic acid virus, while African swine fever is a DNA virus, the department said, adding that there are classical swine fever vaccines but none for African swine fever.
However, pigs exhibit similar symptoms when contracting any of the highly contagious diseases, including fever and hemorrhage, which usually lead to death, he said.
The ban will not affect the domestic supply of pork since Japanese pork products account for only 0.06% of the country's total imports of pork, or 40 tonnes a year, according to the agency.
Taiwan has not reported cases of classical swine fever since 2007, said deputy director-general of the department Tu Wen-jane (杜文珍), adding that inspections would continue at customs to block imports of pork from areas infected with swine diseases .
Meanwhile, African swine fever in China has spread to 18 provinces and regions, with 69 cases recorded in farmed pigs and one found in a wild pig as of yesterday, the council said.
Council Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) yesterday inspected quarantine measures at Kaohsiung International Airport, where customs officials intercepted dried meat and roasted chicken that a returning traveler from China wanted to bring to the country.
Lin told the traveler about the possible consequences of African swine fever in Taiwan.
He called people to help defend the livestock industry of the nation.