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Illegal Meat Imports

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many sniffer dogs are trained to find illegally imported meat at (a) ports and (b) airports [111268]

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs made clear in her written ministerial statement of 25 March 2003, Official Report, column 6WS, responsibility for anti-smuggling controls on the import of illegal meat and meat products has been transferred to HM Customs and Excise, with effect from 11 April 2003. This includes responsibility for the two fully trained dogs from the detector dog pilot based at Heathrow. Customs now plan to train four further dogs for this purpose. All of these dogs can be deployed at any port or airport in the UK.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of containers arriving at British ports are scanned for illegally imported meat. [111186]

The information requested is not available.Customs use a risk-based intelligence approach in selecting freight traffic for anti-smuggling checks. Because many of the risk factors are not commodity-specific, it is not practical to record these checks on a commodity basis.