Lawmakers are tossing pork casings and punches on the floor of the Taiwan parliament

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AP) – Taiwanese lawmakers have plunged into a fistfight and threw pork casings at each other on Friday over a policy soon to come into force that will allow American pork and beef imports.

Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang was due to give a regularly scheduled political report to lawmakers on pork policy on Friday morning when the Nationalist Party, also known as the KMT opposition party, blocked his speech experiment by throwing out bags of legislative pig bodies. Legislators in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party have tried to stop them, resulting in chaos and an exchange of blows.

The DPP legislature wrestled a KMT representative to the floor in the battle.

In August, President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration lifted a long-standing ban on U.S. pork and beef imports, a first step toward possible negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S. The ban should be lifted in January.

This decision met with fierce resistance, both from the KMT and from individual citizens. The new policy will allow pork to be imported with acceptable ractopamine residues, a drug that some farmers add to animal feed that promotes the growth of lean meat.

On Sunday, thousands of people marched to Taipei to protest the import.

American pork accounts for a small percentage of the island’s consumption, but the Nationalist Party has insisted on this issue in order to mobilize support following successive failures in the vote.

“When he was in opposition, he was against American pork, now that he is in power, he has become a supporter of American pork,” said Lin Wei-chou, the KMT legislator who led a group of lawmakers protesting the policy. on Friday. They wore black T-shirts that stood “opposed to ractopamine pork”.

DPP lawmakers have called for peace. “You have prevented Prime Minister Su from re-mailing parliament 12 times,” said Hsu Sheng-chieh, a spokesman for the DPP. – Please come back to notice.