Taipei, Three people who arrived from China last week were fined NT$15,000 (US$486.86) each for bringing uncooked meat products into Taiwan, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said Monday.
The fines were issued amid growing concern over a highly contagious virus that causes African swine fever (ASF) and is deadly to pigs. The virus has been spreading rapidly across China since the country reported its first outbreak Aug. 3.
Between Sept. 1-16, 47 items were seized from passengers' checked-in luggage, according to the BAPHIQ, which is under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).
Shih Tai-hua (???), deputy director-general of the BAPHIQ, said the three latests violators were two Chinese visitors and a Taiwanese working in China.
The smuggled items, including cured sausages, meat noodles and ham, were seized at airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Due to the swine disease in China, Taiwan has been strengthening quarantine controls at its borders and implementing cross-department cooperation to prevent the ASF virus from entering the country.
Travelers are urged not to put the domestic pork industry in danger by importing meat from China, the BAPHIQ said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel