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Illegal import of bushmeat and other meat products into Switzerland on commercial passenger flights

Author(s) : H. Falk, S. Dürr, R. Hauser, K. Wood, B. Tenger, M. Lörtscher & G. Schüpbach-Regula

Summary :

No. 17102013-00010-EN

Illegal imports of meat can present substantial risks to public and animal health. Several European countries have reported considerable quantities of meat imported on commercial passenger flights. The objective of this study was to estimate the quantity of meat illegally imported into Switzerland, with a separate estimation for bushmeat. Data were obtained by participation in intervention exercises at Swiss international airports and by analysing data on seizures during the four-year period 2008 to 2011. The study revealed that a wide array of animal species was imported into Switzerland. From the database, the average annual weight of meat seized during the period analysed was 5.5 tonnes, of which 1.4% was bushmeat. However, in a stochastic model the total annual inflow of illegal meat imports was estimated at 1,013 tonnes (95% CI 226 to 4,192) for meat and 8.6 tonnes (95% CI 0.8 to 68.8) for bushmeat.

Biological hazard – Bushmeat – Commercial passenger flight – Illegal import – Stochastic model – Switzerland.

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