Taiwan has imposed fines for travellers who bring pork products into the country, particularly those from countries where cases of the African Swine Fever (ASF) have been reported, which includes Cambodia.
According to a report from Focus Taiwan News Channel, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) of Taiwan announced last Wednesday that visitors from Cambodia and other ASF-affected countries who attempt to bring pork products into Taiwan will be fined NT$200,000 ($6,490).
The action comes after an ASF outbreak was reported on March 22 in Ratanakkiri province that killed around 400 pigs.
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed the presence of the virus in Cambodia.
BAPHIQ director-general Feng Hai-tung said the fine is now in effect, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.
“The fine of NT$200,000 will be levied to first-time offenders bringing in pork products from countries where there have been ASF outbreaks, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, and China,” he said.
Repeat offenders are liable to a fine of NT$1 million, Mr Feng said, adding that offenders who fail to pay the fine are deported.
Luggage scans are routinely carried out on all hand luggage brought in by travellers from China, Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.
Travellers from countries that have not been affected by the virus also have to pay a fine, although only of NT$30,000.
The Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture on Monday said it will need continued help from civil society and international organisations to prevent the spread of ASF from Som Kaninh village in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district to nearby villages.
The ministry is spraying disinfectants and barring the transportation of pigs to prevent the spread of ASF.
Tan Phannara, director of the ministry’s animal health and production department, said yesterday that despite ministry efforts to contain the virus, experts suspect it may have already spread to three more villages.
Mr Phannara said the ministry will need to collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), NGOs and members of the private sector.
He noted that a working team has also instructed provincial agriculture officials in Kratie, Stung Treng, and Mondulkiri to strengthen monitoring and spray more disinfectants.