Illegal import of bushmeat and other meat products into Switzerland on commercial passenger flights
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
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
... 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. Thus, even for a small European country such as Switzerland the quantities of illegally imported meat and meat products are substantial and the consequences for public and animal health could be high. To reduce the risk, it is essential that surveillance at European airports is harmonised and that passenger information campaigns clarify the consequences of the illegal import of meat, particularly bushmeat.