Trader illegally imports meat into Japan via international mail

The trader mailed 400kg of pork sausage and chicken
calendar icon 24 August 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to the Animal Quarantine Service of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, an import trader has been found guilty of violating the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control by illegally importing livestock products into Japan using international mail.

There are some examples of people being arrested for illegally importing livestock products into Japan as personal luggage on international flights. However, this is the first time that someone has been arrested and convicted for illegally importing such goods using international mail.

With increasing outbreaks of African swine fever in Asian countries, the Animal Quarantine Service in Japan (AQS) has, since August 2018, been strengthening the inspection of international mail and hand luggage brought in from overseas.

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 corporations).

The trader concerned was arrested on suspicion of bringing approximately 400kg of pork sausages and chicken meat using international mail from May to June in 2021 and a guilty verdict was handed out in July 2022. The principal offender was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment (commuted to a suspended sentence of 3 years) and the corporation that imported the goods was fined 3.5 million yen.

According to the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control, livestock products that have not undergone animal quarantine are prohibited from being brought into Japan. Meat products brought in as portable items as well as by international mail are also subject to penalties so it is necessary to make sure that no meat products are included when sending parcels to Japan.

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