Taiwan Premier calls on stricter border control after cat, pork smuggling

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) visited the Farglory Warehouse (遠雄貨棧) in Taoyuan on Monday to check the X-ray machine used to inspect air courier packages following recent reports of cat and pork products being smuggled into Taiwan.

According to Su, he wanted to encourage frontline workers as well as find out how the pork products, which were detected to contain African swine fever, and 154 cats were smuggled into Taiwan.

He added that unscrupulous operators have adjusted their methods in recent years and have taken to disguising various products with different layers of packaging.

The recent breach has led to the euthanization of 154 cats, something that the Premier remarked as extremely horrific.

“The most abominable thing is people who import animals illegally for their own huge profits, regardless of their safety,” he added.

As the euthanization decision had received backlash on the internet, Su further explained that it is mainly due to the incubation period of rabies.

“The painful actions that law enforcement agencies have to do according to the law are to protect national security and protect the existing pet dogs and cats in Taiwan,” Su said.

He added that if rabies infects humans, it could prove to be fatal as well.

Meanwhile, pork found with African swine fever has led Su to become adamant in requesting officials to find out how they were able to be smuggled into the country and tighten restrictions to prevent future occurrences.

Su also asked the public to be more considerate and support law enforcement for their decisions in dealing with smuggled products and animals as all actions performed were to protect the lives of domestic industries, Taiwanese, and even pets that they already have.