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North Ireland: detection of ASF DNA fragments in meat brought illegally by passengers

A sample of seizures have been tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) resulting in the detection of ASF DNA fragments.

Friday 12 July 2019 (8 days ago)
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There is currently a specific concern over the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), which is largely attributed to pigs consuming contaminated pork or pork products. The risk to Northern Ireland has steadily increased due to the recent spread of ASF in Belgium, other European countries and South East Asia, including China.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) issued a reminder to holidaymakers travelling abroad not to bring any animal or plant products back into Northern Ireland.

Meat and dairy products should not be brought into Northern Ireland in passenger`s luggage; such items may be seized by Portal Inspection Branch staff at local ports and airports.

In excess of 300 kilograms of illegal meat and dairy products, detected in passenger luggage, has been seized by DAERA portal officials at Northern Ireland’s airports during June 2019. A sample of these seizures have been tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) resulting in the detection of ASF DNA fragments. Whilst this type of discovery in itself does not pose a significant threat to the animal health status of Northern Ireland nor does it affect the disease free status from ASF it does reinforce the importance of the controls on personal imports of meat and dairy products enforced by DAERA officials.

Tuesday July 9, 2019/ DAERA/ North Ireland-UK.
https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk

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