In the last three months, from October to December 2021, the Contraband Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) Program of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has seized and destroyed more than 1 900 pounds of prohibited pork, poultry and ruminant products from New York. City retailers.
APHIS reports that these items originated in China, lacked the required import permits and health certificates, and are therefore considered a risk of introducing disease as well as invasive plant and animal pests into the United States. United. SITC’s anti-smuggling efforts prevent the establishment of invasive plant and animal pests and diseases while maintaining the safety of our ecosystems and natural resources.
Recent efforts to safeguard U.S. agriculture represent an ongoing collaboration between APHIS, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and officials of New York City.
APHIS is concerned about these banned products as China is affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever, Newcastle Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Swine Vesicular Disease.
African swine fever is of particular concern as the highly contagious and deadly viral disease that affects domestic and feral pigs of all ages has recently spread throughout China and Asia and parts of the European Union.
More recently, African swine fever has been confirmed in pigs in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Thailand.
ASF is not a threat to human health. Yet it is a deadly swine disease that would have a significant impact on American pork producers, their communities and export markets if discovered in the United States.
ASF does not have a presence in the United States – and APHIS says it is working to keep it that way.
In response to concerns about African swine fever, the USDA agency is working closely with other federal and state governments as well as pork producers to take the necessary steps to protect the nation’s commercial swine population and prevent this illness to enter the United States.
APHIS is also actively preparing its response if African Swine Fever is ever detected in the United States.
SITC’s safeguarding efforts also include other prohibited agricultural products. In 2021, SITC seized 224,568 pounds of prohibited agricultural items worth more than $1.7 million, helping to protect American crops and livestock from devastating and costly plant pests and animal diseases. exotic.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, Click here.)