Meat Products: Smuggling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 12 February 2024.

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Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to detect the illegal carrying of meat products into the UK.

Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help prevent the spread of African Swine Fever to the UK.

Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of risk posed to the UK by the spread of African Swine Fever.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

African swine fever (ASF) cases in Germany in 2022 represented new “jumps” in disease distribution towards the United Kingdom, following similar movements elsewhere in Europe. While we consider that the overall risk of entry of ASF virus into the UK from all combined pathways remains at medium, the particular pathway of human-mediated transport of non-commercial, infected products from the EU is considered to be high risk (please see the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s risk assessments for more detail).

As a result, we announced controls restricting the movement of pork and pork products into Great Britain (GB) to help safeguard Britain's pigs (please see further information here).

Travellers are no longer allowed to bring pork or pork products weighing over two kilograms into GB, unless they are produced to the EU’s commercial standards. The controls, which came into force in September 2022, strengthen the standards for bringing pork and pork products into GB from the EU and EFTA states.

This measure helps limit possibly infected pig meat being brought into GB through various means, such as in passengers’ luggage or in vehicles. The measure does not apply to commercial imports, which remain unaffected by the control.

There are Defra-sponsored checks carried out under the ASF safeguard measure and enforced by Port Health Authority officers and Border Force officers at ports and airports.

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