Joint efforts to reduce the risk of disease entering the UK via imports of animal products have been recognised in the Annual Review of Controls on Imports of Animal Products 2008/09.

The review, published yesterday (July 16), recognised the continued joint efforts made during the year by DEFRA, Her Majestys Revenue and Customs, United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), Food Standards Agency, Animal Health and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

According to the report, there continues to be collaboration across Government Departments in raising public awareness among international travellers of the personal import rules for animal products and on the enforcement strategy, which targets the entry routes that pose the greatest threat of introducing animal disease.

Latest figures show that the number of seizures of illegally imported animal products by all enforcement bodies (but mainly UKBA) between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 was 20,660, with a total weight of 191,937kg.

The review also covers the legal controls in place to ensure that animal products from non-European Union (EU) countries meet EU veterinary import conditions.

The full review can be downloaded here.

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