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Additional 17 passengers fined for bringing meat products into Taiwan

2018/12/16 21:40:22

Photo courtesy of Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) A total of 17 cases of travelers attempting to bring meat products into Taiwan have been caught in the third day of heavier fines that came into force, according to the latest Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) data released Sunday.

The data, which was collected between Saturday 4 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m., shows that 13 of the individuals attempting to bring in meat products were Taiwanese, two were from China, and one each from Thailand and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, 10 of the 17 cases originated from China, with four caught at both Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA) and Taipei Songshan Airport, and one each at Taichung International Airport (TIA) and the offshore county of Kinmen, BAPHIQ data shows.

Of the 10 cases, five were pork meat products, with the culprits fined NT$50,000 (US$1,618) each, while the others were four cases of meat products made from poultry, with the travelers fined NT$30,000 each and one case of dog and cat food, which landed the perpetrator with a fine of NT$10,000, according to the data.

Four of the 17 cases originated from Vietnam, with the individuals fined NT$30,000 each for attempting to bring in pork and poultry meat products, of which two cases were found at Kaohsiung International Airport and one case each at TIA and TTIA, the BAPHIQ data pointed out.

The photo shows chicken meat floss from Vietnam found on a passenger / Photo courtesy of the BAPHIQ

Also, a fine of NT$30,000 was handed down for each of the meat products brought from Indonesia and Thailand, which were both found at TTIA, according to the BAPHIQ, which added that pork cured sausages from Hungary were also found at the same airport on a traveler who was fined NT$50,000.

In line with amended Article 45-1 of the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease, fines for individuals caught smuggling meat products from African swine flu-affected countries and areas have been increased, with NT$50,000 for first-time offenders, NT$500,000 for second-time offenders and NT$1 million for repeat offenders.

The law was amended to impose heavier fines on individuals caught bringing in meat products and the new fines took effect at midnight Thursday as part of government efforts to prevent African swine fever (ASF) entering Taiwan at a time when the epidemic is spreading fast in China.

According to a statement from BAPHIQ's Kaohsiung branch, ASF has been found in 22 Chinese provinces, including the city of Putian in the Chinese province of Fujian, situated opposite Taiwan's Kinmen. If ASF were to enter Taiwan, it would devastate the country's pig farming industry.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Chen Chao-fu and William Yen)