Japanese Animal Quarantine Service Confirms NIAH's Isolation of ASF Virus from Illegal Philippine Pork

Prevent Incursion of African Swine Fever into Japan, Maximum Fine of 3 Million JPY for Individual

TOKYO, Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 9, 2020, gene of African swine fever (ASF) virus was confirmed as a result of the gene test (PCR) carried out by Animal Quarantine Service (AQS), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Japan, on pork sausages illegally brought into Japan by a passenger from the Philippines.





Live virus was also isolated from the products as a result of virus isolation carried out by the National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH), the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). With this, it is proven, again, that infectious ASF virus has reached the border of Japan.

The pork sausages, brought on a flight departing Manila, the Philippines, on August 31, was a part of souvenirs. After a quarantine detector dog at Haneda airport found the meat products, AQS disposed of them as prohibited import products, and a part was sent for testing.

AQS has been testing for gene of the ASF virus on pork products illegally brought by international passengers since August 2018, and this is the 89th case found to be ASF gene positive and is the third case that the infectious ASF virus is isolated.

Animal products including ham, bacon, jerky, sausage, processed meat products, etc., are prohibited to be brought into Japan, regardless of volume, in accordance with the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control.

AQS will continue to strengthen import inspection of animal products to prevent the incursion of ASF through international passengers and parcels by utilizing quarantine detector dogs at international airports and post offices.

Violators shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years or a fine of up to 3 million JPY. Business corporations shall be punished with a fine of up to 50 million JPY. Passengers with illegal animal products may also be denied permission for landing in Japan.

Animal Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Japan:

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