March 6, 2023


One tonne of illegal pork confiscated as UK works to prevent ASF




A tonne of smuggled pork has been seized as part of a bid to reduce the chances of an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in the United Kingdom.


In a joint operation, Border Force and the Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (SCPHA) searched traffic entering the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe from the European Union. The teams looked for pork that doesn't meet new standards set by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


Mark Aldred, team Leader at SCPHA, said: "In just one week, our team of 11 were able to identify, inspect and seize more than 300kg of pork that did not comply with the new controls.


"Since our operation began, we have confiscated one tonne in total.


"We are pleased our joint operation with Border Force has already made an impact in reducing the chances of an African swine fever outbreak in Britain."


Following a risk assessment by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, DEFRA announced new controls restricting the movement of pork into Britain.


Travellers from the EU are no longer allowed to bring pork weighing over 2kg into Britain unless it is in verified commercial packaging with EU health marks.


The operation was due to conclude this month, but has now received further funding until March 2024. Hannah Panting, operations manager at SCPHA, said: "Our teams have done a fantastic job in protecting Britain from the significant damage an ASF outbreak could cause the farming economy.


"We look forward to continuing the success of this operation and strengthening our cooperation with Border Force across 2023 and 2024."


In addition to the joint operation with Border Force, SCPHA provides essential health checks on food and animal products imported to Harwich International Port.

- Echo

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