Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet approves stiffer penalties for meat smuggling

Staff writer, with CNA

The Executive Yuan has approved a draft amendment to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例) that imposes tougher fines on people caught smuggling meat products into the country, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said on Monday.

As the number of travelers illegally bringing meat products from overseas has increased, the maximum fine is to be raised from NT$15,000 to NT$300,000, the bureau said, adding that it hopes this would be a greater deterrent against smuggling.

The proposed amendment came amid growing concern over outbreaks of highly contagious African swine fever.

The virus has been spreading rapidly across China since the outbreak was first reported on Aug. 3.

The bureau said the swine disease has spread to 14 provinces, cities and districts in China.

From Oct. 18 to Sunday, 122 cases involving smuggled meat products were reported by customs officers, of which 71 came from China, bureau statistics showed.

Others included 34 from Vietnam, six from the Philippines, four from South Korea, two each from Thailand and Myanmar, and one each from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the figures showed.

The draft amendment is to be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for approval, the bureau said.

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