TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - China has revealed a new case of African swine fever in the central province of Hunan, causing immigration in Taiwan to pay attention as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close.
The latest incident involved a farm in Yongzhou with 4,600 pigs, according to a report by the Associated Press. A total of 171 pigs had already died and 270 were sick, but all animals at the farm would have to be culled.
More than 1 million hogs have already been killed in 20 Chinese provinces, and Beijing has ordered restrictions on transportation for the remaining 700 million pigs in the country, AP reported.
Since Chinese tourists travel overseas, including to Taiwan, during the Lunar New Year period, customs and immigration services have sharpened their checks into visitors potentially carrying banned meat products into the island.
Taiwan raised its fines for violating the ban to NT$200,000 (US$6,490) late last year, but even since several travelers, mostly Chinese, were found to have brought pork and other banned products without reporting them at airports.
Several were refused entry into the country because they refused or were unable to pay the full fine immediately.
Hog carcasses contaminated with African swine fever have been found on Taiwan’s outer islands, possibly after having floated over from China’s province of Fujian.