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ASF warnings after virus DNA detected in UK

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By Josh Loeb

African swine fever (ASF) virus DNA has been detected in samples of illegally imported pork products seized at an entry point into Northern Ireland – the first time the virus has been detected in the UK.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) made the announcement last week, warning those travelling abroad to ensure that they do not bring animal or plant products back into the UK.

In June alone, 300 kg of illegal meat and dairy products were detected in passengers’ luggage in Northern Ireland.

DAERA stressed that the discovery of ASF ‘DNA fragments’ in products seized at airports and tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) posed no significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status.

However, the department added that there was ‘currently a specific concern over the spread …

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