Edible nests from swallows, known as yanwo, are now among the list of products not to be carried or shipped into the country, the Beijing Morning Post reported yesterday. Genetically modified biological products and animal-borne medicine is also on the list.
Visitors will now be allowed to bring only one pet, such as a dog or cat, with animal quarantine and vaccination certificates issued by their home countries, according to a notice released on the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine's website on Thursday.
On Thursday GAQSIQ and the Ministry of Agriculture jointly released a new version of a list of animals, vegetation and products that are forbidden to be brought to China in a bid to protect the safety of agriculture, forestry, fishing, husbandry and public health from diseases, said the notice.
The list includes three categories and 16 items.
The forbidden animals and their products cover all animals and products like diary and yanwo.
Experts hailed the updating of the list.
"It is for the sake of protecting wild life and the environment and ensuring safety in many aspects, including health and food," Zhang Shangzheng, a tourism management professor at Anhui University, told the Global Times yesterday.
The updated regulations are helpful in controlling the risk from imported species, Zhang Yongjian, director of the Research Center for the Development and Regulation of the Food and Drug Industry at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Made by bird spit and feathers, yanwo is mainly produced in eastern Asian countries and regions, including Indonesia, Thailand and China. It is regarded as a highly nutritional and luxurious food.
However, not all yanwo is safe for humans. According to an investigation by authorities in Zhejiang last August, the amount of nitrate in some yanwo exceeds legal standards, according to people.com.cn.
The banned vegetation includes fresh fruit, vegetables and tobacco leaves. Other forbidden quarantine objects include animal corpses, samples and transgenic biological materials.