Customs inspectors in Northern Ireland found ASF meat in travellers luggage
Traces of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected by Northern Ireland Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute scientists in samples collected from the illegal meat found on travellers' luggage that entered the country in June.
300 kilos of meat and dairy products bought illegally in the country were seized by the customs officers and samples collected and tested showed that some of the pig meat found was carrying traces of the virus.
Chief veterinary officer Dr Robert J Huey reminded travellers that it is illegal to bring "food souvenirs" into the country from places where the disease was signalled. "The greatest risk is to our agri-food industry and our environment, as any introduction of pests, diseases and non-native species can have a potentially devastating impact", he said, according to Agriland magazine.
Imports of meat and meat products from countries outside the EU are almost totally banned in the UK and there are also strict controls on animal products from the EU, mentioned the official.
Illegal products found on travellers were seized and destroyed. Since late last year, UK has set new biosecurity rules to protect itself from the disease that is affecting a part of Europe and Asia. It is believed that meat products transported over the border have triggered the ASF outbreak in the Czech Republic.