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Illegal Meat Imports

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to advise people entering Britain of the illegality of importing meat; and if she will make a statement. [111279]

[holding answer 6 May 2003]: Information is displayed at ports of entry to the UK as well as at some foreign airports, and disseminated through many of our diplomatic posts abroad. In addition we have produced two videos and a radio filler. The videos are being broadcast on television and we continue to work with airlines to get our message across in-flight. An increasing number of airlines are now making in-flight announcements on the personal import rules. Our message on meat imports is currently advertised on seven million ticket wallets for long-haul destinations.Defra has recently produced a new leaflet setting out in detail the up-to-date rules on personal imports. This leaflet is being distributed via HM Customs, who have taken over responsibility for enforcement at the border, and for publicity at our ports and airports, at overseas destinations and in transit to the UK. Defra will retain responsibility for raising awareness within Britain of the fact that there are rules on the import of animal and plant products, the reasons for them and the penalties for breaking them, for example by attending appropriate shows and events.