Japan Strengthening Penalties for Bringing Livestock Products from Overseas

Japan Strengthening Penalties for Bringing Livestock Products from Overseas

YOKOHAMA, Japan, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Animal Quarantine Service in Japan (AQS) is further strengthening its import quarantine for livestock products in the face of increased threats of entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) into Japan. In order to effectively prevent entry of harmful infectious diseases like ASF, it has amended the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control and strengthened the penalties for offenders as follows.

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Import of meat products prohibited
Import of meat products prohibited

The existing penalty of a maximum of 3 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 1 million yen will be raised to up to 3 million yen from 1st July 2020. For corporations, the existing penalty is raised by 50 times to a maximum of 50 million yen. A person with illegal livestock products can also be denied entry to Japan.

Detected sausages at the airport. Meat products cannot be imported.
Detected sausages at the airport. Meat products cannot be imported.

The number of officials will be increased and quarantine detector dogs will be more than doubled. Thus, no travelers with livestock products in their personal baggage will be missed.

Dogs trained to detect passengers’ hand-luggage
Dogs trained to detect passengers’ hand-luggage

There is no approved vaccine or cure for ASF, and mortality rates for ASF infected pigs are high, making it one of the most feared infectious pig diseases in the world. Outbreaks were first reported in Asia in August 2018. They spread rapidly through many countries and are still prevalent.

AQS has strengthened checks on the hand luggage of travelers from overseas and international posts since August 2018, due to increasing outbreaks of ASF in Asian countries. Since April 2019 it has got stricter in dealing with violators of the laws, and a number of violators including foreigners have been arrested.

Dog trained to detect international postal deliveries Meat products cannot be imported, even by post.
Dog trained to detect international postal deliveries Meat products cannot be imported, even by post.

Animal Quarantine Service of Japan
http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/languages/info.html

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Photo – https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20200619/2833585-3-i?lang=0

Source: Animal Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries JAPAN