Hong Kong travelers subject to same African swine fever checks as Chinese: Taiwan

Official comment follows virus outbreak at Hong Kong slaughterhouse

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Visitors from Hong Kong and Macau are already subject to similar checks as those from China, according to the COA.

Visitors from Hong Kong and Macau are already subject to similar checks as those from China, according to the COA. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Visitors arriving from Hong Kong and Macau already have their luggage checked for African swine fever with the same thoroughness as those from China, officials said Saturday (May 11).

The announcement follows the discovery of the disease in an organ sample of a pig imported from Guangdong Province at Hong Kong’s Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, leading to a cull order for 6,000 hogs.

In Taiwan, passengers arriving at airports or harbors and failing to report banned meat can face a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,480) for the first offense.

As the virus expanded across China to include all of its provinces, Taiwan increased the fines and tightened the checks on arriving passengers. Several times, inspectors discovered Chinese visitors carrying sausages or other banned meat products with them. Those unwilling or unable to pay the fines, are refused entry and turned back immediately.

All luggage from Hong Kong and Macau, regardless whether it was checked in or carried on board, was being subjected to X-ray checks already, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Saturday.

Looking at other areas, North Korea would be a black spot because it was unlikely to tell the outside world if African swine fever had erupted, but if it did, then concern would grow about South Korea, according to the COA.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Cambodia already counted as African swine fever areas, with neighboring Laos and Thailand being put under closer scrutiny with upgraded airport checks, the Central News Agency reported.