Foreign national arrested on suspicion of illegally importing livestock products into Japan using international mail

PRNewswire February 21, 2023

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On January 25, 2023, a foreign national was arrested on suspicion of illegally importing livestock products into Japan using international mail.

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Quarantine detector dogs identify meat, fruits, and other items at the international post office.

The person arrested on this occasion is suspected of attempting to bring livestock products such as meat products, which are prohibited from being imported into Japan, together with other foodstuffs including items of confectionery from overseas using international mail on multiple occasions.

In order to prevent the invasion of livestock infectious diseases, it is prohibited by law in Japan to bring meat such as pork and chicken and meat products such as sausages and ham from many countries and regions including Asia, regardless of the quantity or mode of transportation.

When livestock products are brought into Japan illegally, there is a possibility of a maximum of 3 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 3 million yen (up to 50 million yen for businesses).

With an increasing outbreak of African Swine Fever, a highly lethal disease characterized by hemorrhagic lesions throughout the body, in Asian countries, the Animal Quarantine Service in Japan (AQS) has been strengthening the inspection of international mail and hand luggage arriving from overseas by, for example, increasing the number of animal and plant quarantine detector dogs.

According to preliminary figures announced in 2022, 54,429 cases (35,729kg) of illegal livestock products imported as the personal effects (hand luggage) of travelers and 52,944 cases (85,683kg) of illegal livestock products imported as international mail were discovered. The amount of meat products discovered in international mail has risen to a daily average of over 234 kgs.

When traveling to Japan from overseas or sending international mail to Japan, it is necessary to make sure that you do not bring or send any livestock products prohibited from being brought into Japan.

Japan Animal Quarantine Service

Animal Quarantine Service, Planning and Coordination Division


SOURCE Animal Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries JAPAN

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