TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Testing has turned the remains of the African pigeon virus in two cases of imported pig from China by travelers, the Agriculture Council announced on Tuesday.
The pork was 1,818 meat items, totally 4,515 kilograms brought illegally to Taiwan by passengers and intercepted between August 1st and 11th November, the Central News Agency reported.
The total included 238 cases or 389 kilograms imported through shipping links between the Fujian province of China and the islands carried out by Taiwan from Kinmen and Matsu, customs officers said.
The recent November 11 "Unity Day" online shopping bonanza also revealed 41 cases of pork products being smuggled by mail or delivery service.
Remains of the virus gene for African pig fever were tested on two packages of sausages, which were imported on October 31 and November 13 respectively, showing that there is a high risk of the disease entering Taiwan through products and bought by tourists and taken at home with their bags, according to CNA.
Travelers who bring meat products to Taiwan from the areas affected by an African pig fever face fines up to US $ 15,000 (US $ 484), although there are proposals to raise maximum to NT $ 300,000.
A total of 19 provinces and regions of China have reported cases of swine fever, and they cover most of the area from Heilongjiang to the north east to Yunnan's and south-west, with Beijing, Hebei, Shandong, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan are notable exceptions to date.