Illegal importation of meat products subject to penalties
In order to prevent the introduction of African Swine Fever which has been affecting the neighboring countries, Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) located in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, has decided to develop a more comprehensive detection system by introducing substantial number of detector dogs and dispatching them not only to major airports but also to local ones.
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a contagious disease affecting pigs, and would bring devastating damages to the livestock industry. ASF virus strains were isolated from meat products intercepted from passengers coming from Asia in March 2019.
AQS has been strengthening the inspection system of passenger’s baggage, especially focusing on the passengers coming from Asian countries affected by ASF. Furthermore, in order to suppress the smuggling of meat, AQS has applied the penalty more stringently than ever before to passengers who bring in illegal animal products into Japan.
This time, AQS is determined to largely increase the number of detector dogs that are extremely competent in finding meat products, and further strengthen the animal quarantine system.
If one brings meat products illegally, an imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to one million Japanese Yen could be imposed.
Now the Japanese government is serious about the illegal importation of animal products.
Japanese Animal Quarantine Service