The agriculture ministry will raise fines for smuggling pork products as part of efforts to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from entering the country.

The maximum fine for individuals will be tripled to ¥3 million, the ministry said Wednesday. Penalties for corporations will be raised to up to ¥50 million from ¥1 million.

The measure will be set out in a bill to revise the law on controlling infectious diseases in domestic animals. The ministry plans to submit the bill during the ongoing Diet session.

The bill also calls for allowing animal quarantine officers at airports and ports to check and dispose of baggage without owners’ consent.

A revision to the law on controlling infectious diseases in domestic animals, which allows preventive culling of healthy pigs in cases where ASF infections are confirmed in nearby areas, was put into effect on Wednesday.

Agriculture ministry guidelines for preventing the spread of ASF have also been revised to specify the extent of the area subject to the preventive culling.

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