Korea to return live cat found in luggage

Korea to return live cat found in luggage

A cat that was hidden inside a Taiwanese traveler's luggage will be returned to Taiwan and be put under quarantine for 180 days, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said yesterday.

The Aviation Police Bureau (APB) yesterday said that a man surnamed Kim travelled to Seoul on May 24 through China Airlines from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, and the Korean custom officials discovered a live black cat in his luggage when he went though the immigration inspection.

The APB said that the Korean officials immediately informed China Airlines to notify the BAPHIQ about this incident.

According to the APB, outbound passengers carrying regulated articles that require quarantine inspection by the importing country shall complete the application form and apply for export quarantine inspection to the animal and plant quarantine authority with a passport, ticket and other relevant documents.

The APB said that the security inspection job mainly targets objects stored inside luggage or carried by passengers that might endanger aviation safety, and officials did not discover any irregular signs from the luggage during the safety inspection.

According to the APB, the officials who conducted the safety inspection did not violate any regulations.

The BAPHIQ said that the traveler Kim was fined NT$21,000 (S$873) by Korean officials before the officials shipped the cat back to Taiwan.

However, according to regulations, the runaway cat has to be quarantined for 21 days if it has received a rabies vaccination. If the cat has not received a rabies vaccination, it will must go under quarantine for 180 days before Kim is allowed to bring the cat home.

According to airport officials, it was actually a miracle that the cat survived the over two-hour-long flight while stuffed inside a suitcase.

Last month, a Japanese traveler put two gallons of diesel fuel in his luggage and boarded a flight bound for Manila from Taoyuan International Airport. However, safety inspection officials did not discover the diesel fuel and sent the luggage onto the aircraft.

Philippines officials discovered the diesel fuel at the airport and notified the APB. According to the APB, the safety inspection official was fired from their job and security procedures would be more strictly enforced in the future.

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