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Sniffer dogs at border points help detect African Swine Fever in imported meat

The highly trained dogs work alongside UK Border Force to search freight, passengers and luggage for illegally imported meat products, which are highly contagious and a major spread of the virus.

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Sniffer dogs at border points help detect African Swine Fever in imported meat

Sniffer dogs have been deployed at the border to help fight against the growing threat of African swine fever.

 

The highly trained dogs work alongside UK Border Force to search freight, passengers and luggage for illegally imported meat products, which are highly contagious and a major spread of the virus.

 

The team at Heathrow Airport welcomed UK Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss and Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner to demonstrate its work during passenger arrivals, at the time coming directly from South East Asian countries where the disease is prevalent.

 

So far an estimated four million pigs in Asia and more than 800,000 pigs and wild boar in Europe have been wiped out by ASF.


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Global Ag View: African Swine Fever will see Chinese imports of pork soarGlobal Ag View: African Swine Fever will see Chinese imports of pork soar

Lord Gardiner said: “While there has never been an outbreak of ASF in the UK, we are not complacent and already have robust measures in place to protect against animal disease outbreaks.”

 

In July, Defra launched a UK-wide campaign to reiterate the importance of keeping meat products out of the UK, including writing to universities to ask students not to bring any meat products when they come over to study.

 

Pig keepers have also been reminded that it is illegal to feed catering waste, kitchen scraps or pork products to their animals.

 

Anyone travelling back from ASF-affected areas who will be coming into contact with domestic pigs, commercial holdings or smallholdings, has been asked to pay extra attention to the spread of disease via contaminated clothing, footwear or equipment, and pork products.

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