GEORGE TOWN: The government is being extra vigilant during the Chinese New Year festive period in order to prevent overseas pork and pork-related products from entering the country.
Enforcement at Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) checkpoints have been beefed up in view of the threat of African swine fever (ASF).
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the import ban of pork and pork-related products from 13 countries was still in force.
They are China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Poland, Belgium, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Laos, Korea, Philippines and Indonesia.
"Malaysia has been free from ASF due to the hard work of Maqis, which is the first gate to prevent the disease," said Sim during a 'Food Safety Awareness and Biosecurity Control' programme at the Penang International Airport on Saturday (Jan 18).
He said the Malaysian Quarantine Services and Inspection Act 2011 (Act 728) was strictly imposed on offenders.
"There were 1,002 cases last year, of which 18 were charged with fines totalling RM201,500, compounds of RM4,030 and seizure of products worth RM166.6mil.
"The programme today was to increase the awareness of people to not bring in products which are banned, especially during the festive season.
"Please advise friends or relatives who are visiting during the Chinese New Year period not the bring in pork-related products as it would definitely be seized at the checkpoints.
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