Authorities in East Yorkshire have uncovered and seized large volumes of pork products from countries that have reported African swine fever (ASF) in their pig herds.
The Hull and Goole Port Health Authority has seized 80kg worth of illegal meat products from four consignments since September 2022, according to the Hull Daily Mail.
It follows the introduction of new rules making it illegal to bring pork or pork products weighing over 2kg into the country unless they are produced to the EU’s commercial standards.
The change, which followed intense lobbying by the UK's National Pig Association (NPA), was introduced to raise the country's defences against ASF.
Hull and Goole Port Health Authority's chief inspector said: "Certain pork and pork products which originate or have been dispatched from the EU pose an unacceptable risk to animal health in Great Britain.
"Working with the Food Standards Agency, we are planning a further joint local initiative with UK Border Force to target freight arrivals in our ports."
Red Tractor recently warned that the risk of the disease reaching the UK had increased, and if it were to arrive, it would have a 'devastating impact'.
This would include consequences for the health of the UK pig population, as well as the domestic and international trade of pigs and pork.
There are multiple pathways for the introduction of ASF virus to a new area: movement of infected live animals, contaminated equipment, or infectious products.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) considers the human route, such as in passenger luggage, to be the highest risk pathway.
NPA chief policy adviser Rebecca Veale said the body was ‘very pleased’ when the government introduced new restrictions on the movement of pork and pork products.
“We had been calling for action for some time,” she said, “The aim of the restrictions is to stop illegal consignments such as this.
“ASF is a notifiable disease which not only would severely compromise the health and welfare of pigs and can potentially devastate businesses up and down the country, it would also have huge implications for our ability to export pigmeat, which is important for carcase balance."