SEIZURES OF illegally imported animal products doubled between March 2003 and March this year compared to the preceding 12-month period, a DEFRA report shows.

According to the Annual Review of Controls on Imports of Animal Products, 15,838 seizures were made during the twelve months up to March this year.

The number of seizures during the preceding twelve months was 7,819.

The increase in weight was from 109,211kg to 185,888kg.

Less than 5% of the nearly 16,000 seizures were made in freight and cargo.

Bur this relatively small number of seizures accounted for around 48% of the total weight of the seizures.

Meat was the product category registered with most seizures: 6,810. Total weight for seized meat: 72,734kg.

Dairy products were seized 3,168 times, and the total weight for the products seized was 28,052kg.

Of the meat seizures, 1,486 concerned meat from Eastern Asia; 1,004 concerned meat from Southern Africa; and 838 concerned meat from Eastern Europe.

The region from which most of the seized dairy products came was the Near and Middle East.