Japan Tightens Quarantine To Keep Out Swine Fever

Japan tightens quarantine to keep out swine fever

Japan has stepped up quarantine measures on Chinese-made pork products at its major airports in an effort to prevent the risk of African swine fever spreading from China.

Multiple outbreaks and the rapid spread of the disease have been reported in China.

Japan's agriculture ministry says quarantine operations will be tightened at major airports nationwide for one month until the end of February in an effort to keep out contaminated pork products.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan increases at this time of the year, centering on China's week-long Lunar New Year holiday that kicks off on Monday this year.

The virus is not harmful to humans. But it is highly contagious and almost always fatal for hogs.

The ministry plans to dispatch a total of 270 quarantine officials to Narita Airport near Tokyo and other major airports to join the existing workforce there.

It also mobilized an additional four sniffer dogs capable of identifying meat products.

The ministry says it has already issued warnings for Chinese tourists through social media that they would be punished according to Japanese law if they carry meat products into Japan without permission.

The ministry says it will take all possible measures to prevent the entry of the disease into Japan since an outbreak in the country could jeopardize its pork industry.