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Brazil institutes temporary ban of pork products coming into country via travelers

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) adopted yet another preventive measure to prevent the introduction of the African Swine Fever (PSA) virus in the country.

As of September 10, the entry of pork products from all countries in the luggage of travelers entering Brazil and unaccompanied luggage is prohibited. The temporary measure applies to those arriving in the country by air, sea or land. Until now, the restriction was limited to the entry of products of porcine origin from countries with cases of PSA registered in the last three years.

The prohibition is contained in the update of the list of authorized goods , established by Normative Instruction No. 11/2019, and seeks to allow better border inspection performed by the units of the International Agricultural Surveillance (Vigiagro).

"Although pork products that have undergone heat treatment or cure provided for in the Code of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) present negligible risks of introducing the disease into the country, we decided to temporarily ban most pork products for all the countries, until improvements in operational procedures are implemented so that there is no risk of authorizing the entry of any pork product that is not allowed”, explains the coordinator of Animal Traffic and Quarantine at Mapa, Bruno Cotta.

The exception is for canned pork products - heat sterilized. For them, entry into the country is still allowed, as long as they are in the original packaging, properly identified and in a quantity suitable for the traveler's own consumption, and marketing or distribution is not permitted.

The Ministry also emphasizes that the ban on the entry of products of pork origin does not apply to regular imports from any country, when Brazilian import requirements are met, and such goods can be destined for wide trade and distribution throughout the national territory.

The African Swine Fever is a viral disease that poses no risk to human health, but can decimate creations of pigs, it is highly communicable. In Brazil, the last outbreak of the disease was registered in 1981 and the country was declared free of PSA on December 5, 1984. A reintroduction of the virus in the country would affect the Brazilian economy.

Oversight

Since the confirmation of the disease in the Americas, on July 29, federal agricultural tax auditors have reinforced the inspection of international passenger baggage. Products banned from entering the country are seized and destroyed.

So far, 385 flights have been inspected. In all, 2,196 bags were inspected with the seizure of 201 kilos of pork products. Inspections took place at the international airports of Guarulhos, Galeão, Porto Alegre, Brasília and Confins.

Awareness campaign

To help with PSA prevention actions, the Map has reinforced, on social networks, guidelines for travelers and pig farmers.

With the slogan “African Swine Fever, not here!”, the campaign advises travelers not to bring pork meat, sausages, hams, sausages or any product derived from pigs or wild boars in their luggage. Another measure is that they do not visit pig farms and do not participate in wild pig hunts abroad and when they arrive in Brazil.

As for the pig farmers, the guideline is that they do not feed the pigs with leftovers; avoid contact of animals with visitors, especially if they have recently traveled to another country; keep the swine locked up so they don't come into contact with wild pigs; disinfect equipment, vehicles and materials used on the farm and regularly check the health of the farm's pigs.

The campaign is carried out by Mapa in conjunction with the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), the Brazilian Association of Swine Breeders (ABCS), the Brazilian Association of Swine Genetics Companies (ABEGS) and the National Union of Federal Tax Auditors Farming (Anffa).