Taipei, Taipei Customs officers seized 3,043 kilograms of meat products brought into the country by passengers arriving from foreign countries between August and November as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China, according to data released Tuesday by Taipei Customs.
In response to the continued smuggling of meat products into the country, the Legislature passed on Nov. 30 an amendment to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease, increasing fines for smuggling meat products into Taiwan from NT$3,000-NT$15,000 (US$98-US$489) to NT$10,000-NT$1 million, Taipei Customs said in a statement.
The amendment shows the government's determination to stamp out this behavior and prevent the importation of the fatal ASF virus, which is spreading in China, according to the statement.
Since August when ASF was first reported in Shenyang, China, it has spread to about 20 Chinese provinces, according to Chinese media reports.
In addition to the amendment, Taipei Customs said it and the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine have strengthened border checks in a bid to deter those smuggling meat products into the country.
The mortality rate of animals infected with the virus is nearly 100 percent in pigs and there are no vaccines for ASF prevention, customs officials noted, while once again calling on people to refrain from smuggling meat products into Taiwan to prevent the potential spread of ASF.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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