People who try to bring pork or pork products from Thailand into Taiwan will be fined at least NT$200,000 (US$7,218) after African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed in the Southeast Asian nation, the Central Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) for ASF said Tuesday.
Thailand's Department of Livestock Development confirmed that one sample out of 309 collected from farms and slaughterhouses in swine-raising provinces there tested positive for ASF and then notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of the finding, the CEOC said in a statement.
The detection of ASF was found in a surface swab sample collected at a slaughterhouse in Nakhon Pathom province, located west of Bangkok, the CEOC said.
Anyone caught trying to bring Thai pork into Taiwan will be fined NT$200,000, while repeat offenders will be fined NT$1 million, the CEOC said.
Visitors caught at airports or seaports trying to bring in Thai pork and who are unable to pay the fine upfront will be denied entry into Taiwan and deported, according to the CEOC.
Taiwan has been on the alert for ASF from Thailand after international parcels and packages were found to contain meat products that tested positive for the virus, starting in December, the Workforce Development Agency under the Ministry of Labor said in a statement on Friday.
A package from Thailand containing sausages was flagged by a post office in Tainan on Dec. 15, and a lab test conducted on the package on Dec. 17 revealed that the items had the ASF virus.
The result was confirmed in a second test performed at a Council of Agriculture lab on Dec. 22.
The virus does not harm humans but can be fatal to pigs and could devastate the country's high-value pig farming industry.
Asian countries identified to have ASF are China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Bhutan, and Thailand.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel