Bishop of St Albans asks about African Swine Fever

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 8th February 2023:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with (1) the EU, and (2) other pork export markets, regarding regionalisation in the event of an African swine fever outbreak in the UK.

Lord Benyon (Con): If African swine fever (ASF) is detected in Great Britain, we would need to agree the process of regionalisation for GB exports with the EU and other trading partners, based on the individual circumstances. Defra will continue to make use of long-established communication channels with the respective Competent Authorities of trading partners to which the UK exports pork and pork products, in order to mitigate as far as possible the disruption to exports in the event of an ASF outbreak, including regionalisation.


The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of new laws, introduced on 1 September 2022, to restrict the non-commercial importation of pork into the UK.

Lord Benyon: The latest risk assessment conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency of the risk of entry of the African swine fever (ASF) virus in live animals and products of animal origin from affected countries remains at medium. The risk through human-mediated routes such as introduction from non-commercial imports from ASF-affected areas (including illegal imports) or fomites is high. The strict new controls introduced on 1 September 2022 restrict the movement of pork and pork products into Great Britain from the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association states. It is no longer legal to personally bring in pork or pork products weighing over 2 kilograms unless they are produced to the EU’s commercial standards. Officials working at ports and airports continue to inspect vehicles and when illegally imported pork and pork products are identified these are seized and destroyed.


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