Taiwan adds Indonesia to fine list after confirmed ASF outbreak

The Council of Agriculture (COA) has announced stiffer fines on people smuggling meat into Taiwan to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from being spread in Taiwan. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Passengers flying into Taiwan from Indonesia who are caught bringing in pork products will be subject to a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,621), the Central Emergency Operation Center for African swine fever (ASF) said Friday.

The announcement came after Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the previous day that an ASF outbreak has taken place in the country’s Sumatra Province, according to a weekly report issued that day by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Increased pig mortality has been reported in North Sumatra and some other provinces since late September, the report said, noting that the FAO is drafting recommendations on ASF control appropriate to conditions in Indonesia.

The confirmation now makes Indonesia the 11th country or territory in Asia to have been affected by ASF, after China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea and East Timor, the center said.

Under current regulations, visitors from ASF-affected and high- risk countries and areas who attempt to bring pork products into Taiwan are subject to a fine of NT$200,000 if they are first-time offenders, while repeat offenders face fines of NT$1 million, the center said.

ASF is fatal for pigs, with no cure or vaccine against it, although the disease is not harmful to humans.