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Travelers caught smuggling meat into Thailand could face jail sentence

New regulations have been implemented amid swine fever fears

(Image by Taipei Office in Thailand)

(Image by Taipei Office in Thailand)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Thailand has introduced heavy punishments for travelers caught transgressing regulations on bringing meat into the country.

Since an African swine fever epidemic began sweeping China in August last year, infections have been reported in 25 provinces and major city areas.

Thailand is an increasingly popular destination for Chinese tourists so the outbreak has worried local authorities. In order to safeguard the country against the spread of swine fever, Thailand began implementing strict inspections on pork products from overseas last year.

Several batches of sausages seized from Chinese tourists at airports were found to contain strains of African swine fever, Bangkok Post reports.

Thailand is now preventing travelers from carrying any meat products directly into the country unless an import permit has been obtained.

The Thai government announced the new response measures earlier this week. Any meat products that have not been declared in advanced and received an import permit cannot be taken into the country.

Furthermore, travelers caught violating the terms will be subject to a maximum fine of 2000,000 baht (NT$197,000) and a potential two-year jail sentence.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand reminds citizens visiting the country to adhere to local laws and regulations. Travelers should avoid taking meat into the country at all costs to ensure their trip goes without any hitches.

Citizens who encounter any problems within Thailand can call the representative office at (+66)81-666-4006.