May 18, 2020


US state of Tennessee sees rise in illegal swine imports amid pandemic



The Tennessee agriculture authorities have warned people in that US state about the health risk brought by illegally imported livestock amid a rise in illegal shipments and sales of pigs in Tennessee, reported.


Officials of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) said COVID-19 has led to backlogs at meat-processing facilities in other states, which have resulted in increased illegal shipments and sales of pigs in Tennessee.


"Once we were made aware that animals were moving through markets, we know that our local customs slaughterhouses are at capacity and there are rules that require that animals coming in be slaughtered within five days if they move on that type of paperwork", State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty was quoted as saying in the report.


The TDA said illegally importing any livestock creates a health risk for people and other livestock in the state. All swine entering the state are required to have documentation.


"Even swine that are raised commercially can carry diseases that aren't detectable without the proper testing and verification. It's critical for everyone to follow livestock import rules and requirements to make sure we don't bring illness here," Beaty stressed, as per report.


People who bring livestock into the state illegally face fine of up to $1,000 or criminal charges.