Nearly 10 metric tons of pork from China were seized and destroyed by Italy’s tax police, police in the northeastern city of Padoa said on Wednesday. The pork was banned by the Health Ministry after African swine fever (ASF) broke out in China in August 2018.
The illegally-imported pork was hidden under a shipment of vegetables from China in a storage facility near Padoa managed by a Chinese citizen, Reuters reports.
Not only was the shipment of pork destroyed, but the man involved was charged with smuggling, trade in harmful foodstuffs and spreading of animal diseases, police told Reuters.
Reuters reports that Chinese officials announced on Wednesday that the deadly ASF virus has been detected in 5% of slaughterhouse samples.
ASF, a highly transmissible virus among pigs only, is not harmful to humans and poses no food safety risk. Since the virus struck China, the disease has spread to several other countries around the world and has sent shockwaves through the pork industry. An old disease, ASF has been studied by scientists and researchers for decades. Unfortunately, stopping the spread of the disease is very difficult as no vaccine is currently available. Biosecurity is the best defense to protect pigs, experts say.
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