`UKBA, Defra checking foodstuff smuggling’

 Join hands with Food Standards Agency

29th January 2010:
The UK Border Agency has made it clear that all efforts are being made to foil attempts to smuggle in products of animal origin. The Home Office said it was working with Defra and the Food Standards Agency to check smuggling animal origin products.

The assertion is significant as illegally imported foodstuff increases the risk of disease outbreaks.

The declaration came soon after hundreds of boxes of food from China being illegally imported to the UK were seized by the Border Agency officers.

The find was made after officials carried out checks on cargo arriving into Teesport, Middlesbrough, from Ningbo, China.

The search of a container on the vessel almost 200 boxes of products of animal origin that had not been declared and were set to be smuggled into the country. The food, including fin flavour noodles, granulated chicken, milk tea and sweets, was all bound for a warehouse in Gateshead. It was hidden among legitimate cargo, which included cooking wine and plastic cups and will now be destroyed.

Senior officer at the port, Amanda Wren, said: ‘Preventing the illegal importation of products of animal origin is a key priority for the UK Border Agency, and this seizure reflects the controls we have in place.

‘We carry out tough checks to protect our borders against the importation of illegal cargos such as this.

‘Illegally imported foodstuffs carry a public health risk, and also increase the risk of major disease outbreaks, such as Foot and Mouth.

‘We will continue to work with our partners to reduce the amount of products of animal origin that are smuggled across our borders.’

We are working together with Defra and the Food Standards Agency in an effort to reduce the smuggling of products of animal origin. As well as freight cargo, tight controls also apply to passenger and postal importations.

Check before you travel on Saturday and Sunday 30 & 31 January 2010

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