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Swine fever: Italian police seize illegally imported pork from China

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Italian police said on Wednesday that they had seized 9.4 tons of pork illegally imported from China and potentially infected with an animal virus.

Italy has an import ban on Chinese pork to prevent the spread of African swine fever, which affects animals but does not pose a risk to human health.

The meat was intercepted in the northern city of Padua, and was destined for local Chinese restaurants, the Guardia di Finanza customs police said in a statement.

It was mixed with vegetable produce and the entire consignment was not frozen properly, in breach on health and safety requirements for food transportation.

The Chinese entrepreneur who imported the goods was reported to prosecutors for trading in dangerous food, spreading animal diseases and smuggling, and his business was temporarily shuttered.

The Guardia di Finanza said demand for pork was particularly strong among Chinese immigrants ahead of festivities for Chinese New Year, which falls on Saturday.

Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim

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