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Quarantine station inaugurated at Taipei Songshan airport

Quarantine station inaugurated at Taipei Songshan airport

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) The Council of Agriculture (COA) set up a quarantine and inspection station at the Taipei Songshan Airport Thursday to step up checks in view of closer exchanges in the wake of direct daily cross-Taiwan Strait charter flights.
The COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine noted that with the launch of expanded, daily cross-strait charter flights last Dec. 15, the bureau needs to step up inspection efforts for items carried by inbound passengers from China.
A bureau official noted that China is listed as an affected country for several diseases, including foot-and-mouth disease, rabies, high- pathology avian influenza, apple codling moth and guava fruit flies.
For this reason, he said, "animals and plants from there are high-risk." The official said the Songshan station will be manned by quarantine officials and equipped with sniffer dogs. The station will also provide quarantine counseling services to outbound passengers.
Since the launch of the weekend cross-strait charter flights last July, the bureau has used quarantine officials and sniffer dogs seconded from its Keelung branch to police Songshan Airport -- one of the airports chosen for direct cross-strait links -- to conduct inspection work.
As of the end of last year, these officials had seized and destroyed 1,017 kg of animal products and plants, mainly poultry, meat jerky and fresh fruit such as peaches, pears, apples and oranges.
(By Lilian Wu)