As of Sunday, 71 travelers had been caught trying to bring in pork products from China, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday, calling on people not to endanger the domestic pork industry by smuggling meat from countries affected by African swine fever.
China has seen 25 cases of the disease since it was first reported in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, on Aug. 3. It has affected seven provinces — Liaoning, Henan, Anhui, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Jilin — as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said.
“The fever is raging severely in China,” but the bureau can only obtain updates about the situation via circuitous means, Animal Quarantine Division chief Peng Ming-hsing (彭明興) said, adding that apart from China and Russia, the fever has not been found in other Asian nations.
Over the past three weeks, 71 people tried to bring Chinese pork products to Taiwan through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei International Airport (Songshan Airport), eight of whom tried to import uncooked products, the bureau said.
As raw meat is more likely to contain the virus, the eight were given the maximum fine of NT$15,000 in line with Article 45-1 of the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例), while the other 63 were fined the minimum amount of NT$3,000, as they only brought jerky, Peng said.
Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) on Sept. 7 announced that a vendor in Taipei’s Nanmen Market (南門市場) was suspected of selling Jinhua ham imported from China, but the bureau has not found any more violations, possibly because vendors have hidden banned products, Peng said.
An online rumor that some infected Chinese pork has been imported through Thailand and Vietnam is false, the bureau said, adding that it does not open pork imported from nations with pig-related diseases, including from Southeast Asia.
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