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Repeat offenders face NT$1 million fine for meat smuggling

2018/12/13 23:01:07

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) Repeat offenders caught smuggling meat products into Taiwan from areas affected by African swine fever (ASF) will face a fine of up to NT$1 million (US$32,443) beginning Friday.

The increased fine follows a recent amendment passed by the Legislature, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said Thursday.

With the passage of the amended Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease last month, people found smuggling meat or live animals for the first time face a fine of NT$50,000, while those caught offending a second time in three years will be fined NT$500,000 and third time offenders NT$1 million, according to the BAPHIO Director-General Feng Hai-tung (馮海東).

Under the new amendment, fines for meat or animal smuggling will increase from the previous NT$3,000-NT$15,000 to NT$10,000-NT$1 million, Feng noted.

The new fines take effect Friday after the Council of Agriculture (COA) completes the necessary preparations, Feng said.

The heavier fines were introduced to protect Taiwan's pig farming industry, with an annual production value of more than NT$100 billion, from African swine fever (ASF), which has been spreading rapidly in China, Feng added.

Since August, when ASF was first reported in Shenyang, China, the disease has spread to 21 provinces, causing severe losses to farmers and major disruptions to the domestic pork market, according to Chinese media reports.

Under the new law, first time offenders will face a fine of NT$30,000 for smuggling meat and animals from areas affected by foot-and-mouth disease or avian flu; second time offenders will be fined NT$300,000 and third time offenders NT$1 million.

As for first time offenders who illegally bring in such products from non-outbreak areas, they face a fine of NT$10,000, with NT$100,000 for second time offenders and NT$300,000 for third time offenders.

(By Yang Su-min and Evelyn Kao)
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