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Piglet deaths could be double official figures: expert
Central News Agency
2014-02-28 09:58 PM
Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) A local expert on Friday said the number of piglets that have died of diarrhea in the past five months could be more than twice as many as official records suggested, as he accused the government of downplaying the swine flu crisis. Lai Shiow-suey, an honorary professor from National Taiwan University's School of Veterinary Medicine, suggested that the number of piglets killed by the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has reached 500,000 since an outbreak was reported in October last year.

That's almost double the figure of around 210,197 released by the Council of Agriculture (COA). Lai said he made the calculation based on the number of piglets in Taiwan as well as the infection and death rates of the disease. The COA, however, refuted the accusation and said it had sent officials to visit piglet farms across the island to compile the death toll. It added that although Lai predicted the outbreak will not ease until after April, it has already seen signs the epidemic is weakening. It noted that only 40,000 piglets died of the disease this month, down from the peak of 70,000 in January. (By Yang Shu-ming and Maia Huang)

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