Wed, Dec 04, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Amendments to combat false animal disease reports

Staff writer, with CNA

Amendments that would broaden the scope of fines for those found to have intentionally spread false information about animal diseases, causing harm to the public, cleared the legislative floor yesterday.

Those who contravene the proposed changes to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例) would face a fine of NT$50,000 to NT$1 million (US$1,639 to US$32,779), the amendments say.

If the actions continue, fines could be issued for each subsequent breach, they say.

Article 43 of the statute stipulates fines for the “dissemination of rumors about infectious animal diseases or false information about epidemics,” but does not contain a clause about causing harm to others.

The amendments were drawn up in part because of e-commerce platforms, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director-General Feng Hai-tung (馮海東) said.

The amendments include a clause that forbids e-commerce operators from advertising imported products that have not passed quarantine, Feng said.

Those caught face a fine of NT$30,000 to NT$150,000, he said.

Amendments passed by the Legislature have to be promulgated by the Presidential Office — a usually routine process that in this case is expected to happen this month.

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