(CTN News) – Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has intensified efforts to prevent the illegal import of pork products from abroad, particularly from China, after a recent incident at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Unauthorized pork imports pose a significant risk of African Swine Fever (ASF), which could have devastating consequences for Thailand’s pork farming industry. Livestock officials are urging the public to report any sightings of suspicious pork products to mitigate the threat of ASF outbreaks.
Enhancing Preventative Measures:
Since 2018, the DLD has escalated preventative measures in response to reported ASF outbreaks in several Asian countries. The recent seizure of 8.5 kilograms of pork sausages concealed in a passenger’s suitcase highlights the urgency of curbing illegal imports.
Involvement of Quarantine and Inspection Canine Unit:
The DLD has taken innovative steps to improve detection capabilities at airports. Sniffer dogs from the Quarantine and Inspection Canine unit were crucial in identifying and confiscating the smuggled pork sausages. These dogs are specially trained to sniff out potential animal products and contribute significantly to preventing ASF incursions.
ASF and Its Implications:
African Swine Fever is a highly contagious viral disease affecting pigs, but it does not directly threaten human health. However, an ASF outbreak among livestock can have disastrous economic consequences for Thailand’s pork farming industry. The rapid spread of the disease could lead to extensive culling of infected animals and disrupt pork supply chains.
Special Measures Implemented by the DLD:
The DLD has implemented stringent monitoring measures to combat the ASF threat effectively. These measures include heightened supervision of live pig and pork carcass movements and close monitoring of ASF outbreaks in other countries. Importing live pigs and pork products from nations with active ASF outbreaks has been delayed to prevent the disease from entering the country.
Cracking Down on Illegal Imports:
Thailand’s authorities are taking illegal pork imports seriously. According to the 2015 Animal Epidemics Act, individuals caught importing live animals or animal parts without proper authorization could face up to two years in prison, a fine of up to 200,000 baht, or both. These strict penalties aim to deter smugglers and protect the nation’s livestock industry.
Public Cooperation Crucial:
The success of these preventative measures heavily relies on public cooperation. The DLD urges citizens to promptly report any suspicious sightings of pork products, especially those of Chinese origin, to the authorities. By doing so, the public can actively contribute to safeguarding Thailand’s pig farming sector from the potential devastation of ASF outbreaks.
Thailand’s Livestock Department is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever within its borders. The recent incident involving illegal pork sausages from China emphasizes the seriousness of the threat and the importance of vigilance at airports and international borders. With the public’s active involvement, Thailand stands a better chance of mitigating the risks associated with ASF and preserving its thriving pork farming industry.