Taiwan halts pork imports from Japan amid fears of classical swine fever

Authorities still monitoring African swine fever grip on China

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Taiwan slaps ban on Japanese pork imports.

Taiwan slaps ban on Japanese pork imports. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Council of Agriculture announced Saturday it was halting the import of pork and related imports from Japan amid fears of classical swine fever.

The attention of food safety officials had previously been mostly centered on African swine fever, which has expanded across several provinces in China, leading to tougher customs checks on incoming travelers carrying meat products.

The first case of classical swine fever in Japan in 26 years was found on September 9, with a second case diagnosed on November 16, the Central News Agency reported.

The new development caused Taiwan to proclaim an immediate stop to the import of live pigs, pork and pork products from Japan.

The island imports about 40 tons of Japanese pork products per year, or 0.06 percent of total pork imports. As a result, the ban will not have an impact on prices or on availability, CNA reported.

Travelers bringing in illegal meat products from Japan could be fined NT$3,000 (US$97) to NT$15,000, officials said.