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Meat: Smuggling

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to find alternative sources of funding for the provision of border controls designed to stop the importation of illegal meat following the reduction of his Department's funding. (209747)

Anti-smuggling controls on all products of animal origin at the Great Britain border except at border inspection posts are operated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and resourced directly from their budgets. The reduction in DEFRA's funding will not impact on this.

Funding continues to be available for DEFRA to help increase public awareness of the rules and regulations that are in place to restrict personal food imports.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland (DARDNI) retains responsibility for anti-smuggling controls in Northern Ireland.

All commercial imports of meat from outside the EU must be checked on entry to ensure that they comply with the import requirements. The costs of these checks must be recovered from the importer under EU law. If a consignment does not comply with the EU rules, it must be re-exported or destroyed and additional costs incurred during this process are also recovered from the importer.