Taipei says Italian pork meat ban is not retaliation for flight suspension
The ban is based on scientific considerations, says the island government. Taiwan opposed by Rome's decision to suspend flights between the two countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The presence of African swine fever in Sardinia at the basis of the import ban.
Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Taiwan declares that the ban on imports of pork from Italy is not a retaliation to the suspension of connections to and from the island decided by Rome to counter the spread of Wuhan's coronavirus (Covid -19).
The import ban went into effect yesterday, February 20, and the Taiwanese foreign ministry said it was based on scientific data. The local agency responsible for animal health control ((BAPHIQ) claims that the ban is due to the spread of African swine fever in Sardinia. Fines for those who import pigs and pork from Italy range from a minimum of 6 thousand to a maximum of 30 thousand euros.
It should be noted that the World Organization for Animal Health does not classify Italy as a country at risk for the spread of this disease. The cases recorded so far on the peninsula are 45 in 2017, 90 in 2018 and 27 in the first half of 2019.
Taipei accuses Italy of canceling flights because the World Health Organization (WHO) defines the island as a region of China, and not for a scientific evaluation of the health situation on the island, where 24 infected people are currently registered and one death.
The Tsai Ing-wen government has repeatedly asked Italy to restore air links between the two countries. Taiwan is in fact an independent state, but Beijing considers it a "rebel" province, threatening several times to regain control, even with the use of force if necessary.