Two out of 33 travelers have paid African swine fever fines in Taiwan

Authorities raised fine to NT$200,000 on Dec.18

Warning signs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Warning signs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Out of 33 people who were fined NT$200,000 (US$6,490) at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for trying to bring in banned meat products amid the fear of African swine fever, two have already paid their fines, the Council of Agriculture said Saturday.

Since the disease expanded across China, Taiwan raised its fines and intensified its customs controls for items, such as pork sausages and other meat products, which might help the fever cross into the island and decimate its extensive hog farming sector.

From December 18, when the higher fines were introduced, until Friday, a total of 44 fines of NT$200,000 were issued, with 33 of those concentrated at the nation’s busiest airport, in Taoyuan, the Central News Agency reported.

The two travelers who had already paid their fines were a Chinese man named He (賀) and a Chinese spouse named Chen (陳) who had acquired Taiwanese citizenship.

The authorities have also intensified their information campaign, as in the early stages several travelers claimed not to know that they could not bring in pork and other meat products from infected areas.

In addition, after a pig carcass found on a beach on the island of Kinmen tested positive for African swine fever, a 14-day ban was imposed on similar meat products moving from the island to the rest of Taiwan.