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Taiwan border controls find ASF in confiscated pork from China

21 November 2018, at 12:00am

Tests have turned up traces of the African swine fever virus in two cases of pork imported from China by travellers, the Council of Agriculture announced Tuesday (20 November)

The pork was among 1,818 meat items totalling 4,515 kilograms brought illegally into Taiwan by travellers and intercepted between 1 August and 11 November, the Central News Agency reported.

The total included 238 cases or 389 kilograms imported by way of the shipping links between the Chinese province of Fujian and the Taiwanese-held islands of Kinmen and Matsu, customs officials said.

Taiwan News reports that the recent "Singles Day" 11 November online shopping bonanza also revealed 41 cases of pork products being smuggled in by mail or delivery service.

The traces of the virus gene for African swine fever turned up in tests on two packs of sausages, imported on 31 October and 13 November, respectively, showing that there was a high risk of the disease entering Taiwan through products bought by tourists and taken home in their luggage, according to CNA.

Travellers who bring meat products into Taiwan from areas affected by African swine fever face fines up to NT$15,000 (US$484), though there are proposals to raise the maximum to NT$300,000.

A total of 19 provinces and regions of China have reported outbreaks of the swine fever, and they cover most of the area from Heilongjiang in the northeast to Yunnan in the southwest, with Beijing, Hebei, Shandong, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan as notable exceptions so far.

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