§ Mr. Levitt
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if Customs and Excise make random checks on private passengers in order to detect the illegal import of meat and meat products; 
(2) what assessment has been made of the relative cost-effectiveness of measures used by Customs and Excise to detect the illegal import of (a) drugs, (b) explosives, (c) tobacco and (d) meat and meat products; 
(3) what priority is given by Customs and Excise to the prevention of the illegal import of meat and meat products; 
(4) what use Customs and Excise make of trained dogs to detect the illegal import of meat and meat products and how this is co-ordinated with dogs working on (a) explosives, (b) tobacco and (c) drugs detection; 448W
(5) how many people were found by Customs and Excise to be illegally importing meat and meat products in each of the last three years for which figures are available; 
(6) how illegally imported meat and meat products seized by Customs and Excise are disposed of; 
(7) what steps Customs and Excise are taking to prevent the illegal import of meat and meat products. 
§ Mr. Boateng
Import controls to detect illegal import of meat and meat products are the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and local or port health officers. HM Customs and Excise does not therefore specifically target its checks against the risk of illegal import and meat products and does not use dogs to detect such illegal imports.
Customs does however support the controls to prevent illegal import of meat and meat products by:dealing with meat and meat products found in the course of checks made in relation to the wide range of controls for which Customs does have lead enforcement responsibility;participating in joint exercises organised by DEFRA or local or port health officers;supporting DEFRA and local port health officers with information to assist in detection of illegal imports; andcontributing to the DEFRA led illegal imports programme, for example by assisting in developing risk assessment.
Customs only seize illegal meat and meat products detected in passengers' baggage or found in the post or where the meat is controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Any other detections are detained and referred to the appropriate enforcement authority to take action. Meat and meat products seized by Customs are disposed of through arrangements made by the local or port health authority.
Central records identifying Customs' seizures of meat and meat products are only available from the year 2000. Details for calendar years 2000 and 2001 are:
- 263 seizures made from persons arriving in the UK
- 186 seizures made from postal packages
- 788 seizures made from persons arriving in the UK
- 237 seizures made from postal packages.