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Animals and Plants: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 18936, tabled on 15 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many border checks were conducted on (a) live animals and (b) high-risk plants in each of the last six months; and how many and what proportion of the (i) live animals and (ii) high-risk plants imported into the UK were subject to border checks in each of the last six months.

Answered on

30 June 2022

To maintain our excellent biosecurity standards, the Government introduced import controls on the highest risk commodities from the European Union on 1 Jan 21 to complement the controls already in place for goods arriving from the rest of world. Over the last 6 months, we have had 3,157 live animal consignments from outside the EU, which were subjected to 100% documentary and physical checks at the border, and 26,396 animal consignments from the EU (accounting for 1,644,197 animals - excluding fish, insects, and other arthropods - and 29,494,729 hatching eggs) which were all subject to documentary checks and 4,462 (17%) were subject to physical checks at destination. Physical checks of the highest risk commodities at destination mirror previous live animal movement controls in the EU prior to 2021 and will remain in operation until the necessary live animal Border Control Posts are operational.

Some 1,178 high-priority plants were imported in the last 6 months from outside the EU and all were subject to documentary checks with 1,058 (90%) receiving physical checks. Import checks of 'high-priority' plants imported to GB from the EU were introduced on 1 January 2021, recognising the relative biosecurity risk that these goods pose. To support businesses as these controls were introduced, temporary easements have been implemented to help manage checks at Places of Destination. These easements, which will cease when we implement our Target Operating Model in 2023, have the effect of supressing the number of notifications made. Noting this, the total number of consignments of these goods declared for entry into GB between 16 January 2022 and 16 June 2022 was 45,050 of which 8,581 (19%) were subject to risk-based physical and identity checks.

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