Center updates pig fever nation list

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 2

The Central Emergency Operation Center for African Swine Fever yesterday added the Philippines to its list of nations affected by African swine fever after Manila earlier in the day confirmed an outbreak there.

With the addition of the Philippines, a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,400) will be imposed on people arriving from that country found to be carrying pork or pork products, if they are first-time offenders, the center said in a press release.

Repeat offenders face a fine of NT$1 million, it said, adding that those who fail to pay the fine will be denied entry into Taiwan.

Since last month, Taiwan had been taking precautionary measures against the entry of African swine fever from the Philippines, based on what the center said was “reliable information” it has obtained pertaining to outbreaks in Bulacan and Rizal provinces.

On Aug. 19, customs agencies expanded checks of hand luggage to include passengers arriving from the Philippines at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. At the time, customs officials at all of Taiwan’s other international airports had been checking the hand luggage as a precautionary measure.

Prior to yesterday, the fine for bringing in pork products from the Philippines was NT$10,000, as it was not among the African swine fever-affected nations: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia and North Korea.

Since the first outbreak was reported in China in August last year, Taiwan has intensified border inspections of meat products to help prevent the virus from affecting the nation’s pig farming industry.

African swine fever threatens pig populations, as there is no known cure and no vaccine.

It is not known to be harmful to humans.