Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) The fine for bringing pork products into Taiwan from Myanmar has been raised to NT$200,000 (US$6,490) because an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was reported in the Southeast Asian country, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).
The measure was put in place Thursday after the World Organization for Animal Health listed Myanmar as a country with an ASF epidemic the previous day, COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said.
The fine for people who attempt to bring pork products into Taiwan from Myanmar was increased from NT$30,000 to NT$200,000 for first-time offenders, while repeat offenders will face a fine of NT$1 million, the COA said.
Due to Myanmar's proximity to China, a country where the ASF outbreak has shown no signs of abating, people arriving at Taiwan airports and seaports from the Southeast Asian country were already subject to hand luggage checks in February, according to the Cabinet's Central Emergency Operation Center for ASF.
People entering Taiwan from Myanmar, China, Russia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, North Korea and South Korea must present their hand luggage for inspection at Customs, the center said.
Taiwan has been on high alert against ASF out of concern that the virus could cripple its high-value pig farming industry.
ASF is a deadly disease that threatens pig populations as it cannot be cured and there is no vaccine against it. However, it is not harmful to humans.