February 14, 2024


Japan employs sniffer dogs to stop entry of meat products as fear of ASF looms



Quarantine officials in Japan were using sniffer dogs to stop travelers bringing in meat products to the country as part of stepped up measures to prevent an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) that is sweeping Asia.


The disease has been confirmed in most parts of Asia.


Although the disease has not yet been found in Japan, the farm ministry is stepping up measures in line with the February 10 start of the Lunar New Year, heralding a long holiday period for Asian travelers.


Infection of wild boars was confirmed near a ferry terminal in Busan, South Korea, where ships depart for Kyushu, Japan. On February 9, animal quarantine officials at the Hakata Port International Terminal in Fukuoka city were checking on arriving passengers who boarded a ferry at Busan.


Additionally, passengers were asked not to bring in meat products and to cooperate to prevent ASF reaching Japan's borders by, for example, removing soil from the soles of their shoes.


At a news conference, Japanese farm minister Tetsushi Sakamoto said: "Our livestock industry will be severely damaged if the disease spreads here. We will make every effort to prevent that by thoroughly strengthening quarantine measures at entry points."


About 30% of Japan's pig farms are located in Kyushu.

- The Asahi Shimbun

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