Zhihao Lei, Takeshi Haga, Hiroko Obara, Hiroki Sekiyama, Satoshi Sekiguchi, Amy Hombu, Miho Fujihara, Lisha Lei, Shin Hsu, Xiying Zhang, Iori Ishitsuka,Yamato Atagi, Takeshi Sato, Katsuaki Sugiura*


With the aim of obtaining information to establish an import risk assessment on African swine fever (ASF) and other transboundary animal diseases (TADs) into Japan, a questionnaire survey was conducted between 1 August and 20 September 2019 on air travellers arriving into Japan from China. There were 248 responses with 2.8% of respondents illegally importing pork products. The quantity imported per traveller varied between 250 g and 2 kg. Concerning the travellers’ perception in regard to the difficulty of importing a pork product in their luggage, 32 respondents (12.9%) considered it very easy or rather easy and 216 (87.1%) very difficult or rather difficult. In regard to the recognition of respondents of the illegality of importing pork products into Japan, seven respondents (2.8%) did not consider this practice to be illegal whilst 241 (97.2%) had some idea of the illegal nature of this behaviour. The multivariable regression analysis revealed that the practice of illegal importation of pork products was significantly affected by the level of difficulty perception held by the traveller (P < 0.001) and that the difficulty perception is significantly affected by the level of recognition of illegality by the traveller (P < 0.001). The result of this study will not only provide useful data in developing a model to assess the probability of introduction of ASF and other TADs into Japan and other countries, but also in monitoring the effect of measures taken by the government to reduce the illegal importation of meat and meat products.

Paper Information

: Preventive Veterinary Medicine
: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.104947