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Improvement of Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine
Testing of agroproducts
One important measure to ensure that food products are safe is field testing for agrochemical residues. In 2010 the COA tested 10,741 samples of fruits and vegetables, 3,000 samples of tea leaves, and 804 samples of paddy rice; conducted 334,637 biochemical tests; conducted 38,496 pre-retail tests of the quality of veterinary drugs used in livestock and poultry; conducted 1,501 tests for chemical residues and heavy metals in aquaculture products; and conducted 2,082 rapid screenings for chemical residues in seafood in fish markets.
The COA has also strengthened drug-testing of hogs for the ten leading hog farms as determined by trading prices in the meat market. Swine-origin products whose samples do not conform to regulations cannot be traded. In addition, we have provided guidance to poultry farms and slaughterhouses to conduct chemical residue testing on broiler chickens, free-range chickens, and ducks three days prior to slaughtering. At the same time we have increased marketing efforts on behalf of healthy poultry products via supermarkets, at special “Taiwan Golden Chicken” counters at supermarkets and hypermarts, and at demonstration stalls in traditional markets. In 2010 the COA conducted 2,073 tests of samples for antibiotics and other drugs in the feed produced at feed factories or by animal-raisers who make their own feed for their own use. The positive test rate was 1.9%. Moreover, 378 tests were conducted over the course of the year for chemical residues, melamine, or other problems with aquaculture feed. All cases in which samples did not meet standards were handled under the Veterinary Drugs Control Act, and the makers listed for special monitoring and guidance, in order to maintain the safety of animal feed.
Animal and plant health inspection and quarantine
The COA continuously promoted programs to (a) prevent and/or control classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease (FMD), and highly pathogenic avian influenza; (b) effectively control goat pox outbreaks through vaccination; (c) enhance the notification, inspection and warning system for animal and plant diseases, and maintain Taiwan as an area free of major diseases or pests such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), avian influenza, and Cydia pomonella; (d) develop an integrated pest management (IPM) and multi-control system for invasive red ants and major pests; (e) strengthen invesigation into use and smuggling of illegal agrochemicals and veterinary drugs.
Forty-one detector detector dog teams (one dog and one handler per team) worked at international portals, where they intercepted 57,000 loads totaling 49 tons of contraband. In line with the international trade facilitation policy, 86.84% of a total of 380,914 applications for import and export inspection were made via the Internet.
The COA did quarantine treatments and inspection to ensure that exported fresh fruit was free from diseases and pests, including 2,919.8 metric tons of fresh fruit exported to the US, Japan, and four other countries. Furthermore, the COA also did the necessary inspection and testing work to facilitate the export of 16 million seedlings of Phalaenopsis with growing media to the US, Korea, and Canada.
The COA has strengthened cooperation with law enforcement agencies to prevent animals and plants being smuggled to our country. Five metric tons of smuggled animals and animal products were destroyed in 2010.
Sanitation in the slaughtering process
To ensure the sanitation of slaughtering, the COA employed 464 certified meat inspectors and assigned them to do meat inspection in nationwide qualified slaughterhouses. Moreover, official veterinarians of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) and its branch offices conducted unscheduled on-site inspections to ensure all requirements were fulfilled.
In order to protect meat safety for consumers, in 2010, 8.02 million livestock animals were inspected, of which 798 were condemned by whole carcass and 1.67 million discarded by parts. In addition, more than 200 million poultry were inspected and more than 8.49 million were discarded.