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Illegal Meat Imports

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what additional funds have been provided for the new responsibilities of HM Customs and Excise to tackle illegal meat imports; and how these funds are broken down for each major port of entry into the UK. [114525]

Of the £25million that the Government are investing over three years in its action plan to deter illegal meat imports, Customs has been allocated £4 million for 2003–04. Allocations for the next two years are yet to be determined. Customs is allocating these funds on the basis of activities such as mobile detection strike force and dog teams, who will be deployed at any port or airport according to risk.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if samples are taken from all seizures of illegal meats made by HM Customs and Excise (a) in terminals and (b) inside cargo sheds. [114526]

It is not Customs' practice to take samples from illegal meat seized under the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003. Customs does, however, sometimes take samples from consignments of imported goods and is currently sampling consignments of chicken for liability to Customs duty.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how illegal meat seizures made by HM Customs and Excise at each of the country's main ports of entry are (a) contained upon seizure and (b) destroyed. [114527]

Seizures of illegal meat are sealed and held under Customs control in suitable refrigerated or freezer storage until they go for disposal, go to a local incinerator, they are collected frequently by contractors in accordance with EU Regulations.