Various outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar across Europe, and cases found in domestic pigs in both Germany and Italy, has prompted the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) to call on government to implement proper import controls at ports.

According to the BMPA, an outbreak of ASF in Britain would be devastating for the sector, and with the lack of controls at ports since Brexit, the main threat is small van loads of illegal meat with no paperwork being waived through at the border.

Highlighting concerns that lack of controls makes an outbreak increasingly inevitable, the BMPA also maintains that government officials seem to have given up on the idea of keeping the virus out, and instead are focusing on how to contain an outbreak when it happens.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK is yet to put in place full checks on agri-food imports from the EU, and the latest indication is that they will not be in place until the end of 2023.

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