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Smuggling: Meat

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal meat imports were seized at port of entry in each of the last three years; what the (a) estimated market value and (b) weight of such seizures was in each year; what assessment she has made of the recent trends in these figures; and if she will make a statement. (227321)

Information on the number and weight of illegal meat seizures at GB points of entry are as follows:

Financial year

Number of seizures

Total weight (kg)










Anti-smuggling controls on illegal imports of products of animal origin are designed to prevent the introduction of animal disease so the value of goods seized is not relevant in this context and therefore is not recorded.

Customs continue to target the animal products and routes that pose the greatest animal disease risk, taking account of the latest veterinary risk assessments. The increase in seizures in 2006-07 can be attributed to the additional resources deployed to tackle the threat from Avian Influenza during that period. More recently there are also some indications of increased compliance among the travelling public following HMRC’s awareness-raising campaigns.