– Detector dogs star in active campaigns before seasonal increase of visitors during the Lunar New Year-
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Japan Animal Quarantine Service (Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture) is to strengthen its inspections to detect whether passengers are bringing meat or meat products in their carry-on luggage. The Quarantine Service is rolling out a large scale campaign in time for the increase in tourists, particularly during the Lunar New Year period, from February 4. It intends to publicize the campaign widely on its website, posters and on video distribution sites. The campaign will feature characters of the detector dogs.
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The new measures to strengthen inspections of meat products follow the outbreak last year of African Swine Fever, an infectious disease, which has affected numerous areas around the globe, including Asia.
The new campaign differs from past warnings against bringing meat products into Japan. In addition to clearly stating the punishable nature of the offence, it spells out that violators are liable to up to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to one million Japanese Yen. The clear and harsh warnings are designed to have a powerful deterrent effect.
In its figures for 2017, the Quarantine Service reported a cumulative 94,522 cases of travelers carrying goods in their luggage that was not approved for import, representing 119,113 kg. The Service uses detector dogs, which are very effective in detecting meat products. There are 29 detector dogs in service at the country’s airports and post office, and four more will be added for this campaign. The dogs have been used as a priority on flights from Asia since the outbreak of African Swine Fever in the area. The Service‘s homepage has announced that it detected the gene of the African Swine Fever disease in pork products carried in passengers’ hand luggage.
South Korea and Taiwan, which also punish the improper import of meat products, currently only impose fines on violators, and are said to be watching Japan’s move closely.
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For more information, please contact:
Animal Quarantine Service, Planning and Coordination Division
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Japanese/ English)