Rotten Trade That Threatens Our Rural Economy

UK - Picture the scene. You're on your way back from two weeks holiday. Although in a rush to get out of the airport, you notice a red trail coming from someone's bag as well as a rotting smell.
calendar icon 28 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Being the good citizen you are, you approach customs with your suspicions that the passenger in front is carrying illegal meat, only to be told that they can't spare anyone at the moment as they're fully stretched or on their lunch break.

Of course, this is an extreme example, but the ongoing problem of illegal meat imports merely serves to heighten the need for greater awareness in the UK of effective labelling of primary products. It also shows that the controls put in place by HM Revenue and Customs are simply too little and often too late.

In a Parliamentary answer, the former Minister responsible for animal health and welfare, and therefore, responsible for the whole area of illegal meat imports, Ben Bradshaw, revealed the volume of meat that has entered the UK since 2001. The figures do not make good reading.

In the year 2001-02, 18,955kg was seized. By 2005-06 this had increased by well over 500 per cent to reach 106,135kg. That is a startling increase in anyone's imagination. Of course, what the figures don't tell is the volume of illegal meat that is not seized.

What is even more startling, and, frankly, extremely worrying are the number of prosecutions of those caught. In 2004-05 there were seven prosecutions. In 2005-06, when the volume of confiscated illegal meat increased significantly by nearly 30,000kg from the previous year, prosecutions actually went down to only two.

Source: YorkshirePost
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