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Surge in illegal meat imports as Dragon Boat Festival nears

Reporter TVBS News Staff
Release time:2024/05/27 14:37
Last update time:2024/05/27 14:37
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Surge in illegal meat imports as Dragon Boat Festival nears (Shutterstock) Surge in illegal meat imports as Dragon Boat Festival nears
Surge in illegal meat imports as Dragon Boat Festival nears (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — As the Dragon Boat Festival approaches, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency reported on Monday (May 27) a surge in illegal online purchases of meat products from abroad, including zongzi (rice dumplings) and cured meats. Up to May 10 this year, 53 cases of suspected quarantine items were found online, with pork products accounting for 10 cases.

Rising Illegal Imports Ahead of Festival

 
The agency highlighted a significant increase in the seizure of overseas zongzi around the Dragon Boat Festival, with 34 cases in 2022, 74% of the annual total of 46 cases, and 12 cases in 2023, making up 86% of that year's 14 cases. The majority of these shipments originated from China.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency has warned that importing pork from epidemic areas could lead to a fine of up to NT$200,000. This measure aims to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever and the foot-and-mouth disease virus, which could severely impact the local pig farming industry.

Strict Penalties for Violators
Under the Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases, violators importing pork products face severe penalties, including up to seven years in prison and fines up to NT$3 million. First-time offenders importing pork products via mail will be fined NT$200,000, with the penalty increasing to NT$1 million for subsequent offenses. Additionally, online platforms advertising illegal animal quarantine items could face fines of up to NT$150,000.
 

The agency's efforts have shown results, with a decrease in the seizure of animal quarantine items from 966 cases in 2022 to 520 cases in 2023, demonstrating a reduction in the seizure rate from 0.103% to 0.055%

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency urges consumers to verify the origin of products on domestic online shopping platforms, which often feature cross-border shopping options. This will prevent the introduction of virus-infected meat into the local food waste system and safeguard the livelihood of the pig farming industry.

Taiwan Affairs

#Dragon Boat Festival# zongzi# pork products# illegal imports# animal quarantine# African Swine Fever# foot-and-mouth disease# importing pork from epidemic areas# penalties for importing pork products# preventing virus-infected meat introduction

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