ILLEGAL ANIMAL-ORIGIN PRODUCTS SEIZED IN BAGGAGE FROM INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AT SAO PAULO GUARULHOS AIRPORT (GRU / SBGR), BRAZIL

Abstract Air transportation is one of the most important means to introduce illegally imported animal-origin products into a country. Studies have demonstrated that these items pose a risk of disseminating diseases. São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU / SBGR) is the main international airport in Brazil in terms of people movement and it has the largest number of seizures of animal-origin products. The aim of the present work was to describe the dynamics of the seizure of illegally imported animal-origin products in baggage from international flight passengers at GRU / SBGR Airport in Brazil. Five hundred and eighty-nine different flights from 43 airlines, arriving from 117 countries were analyzed between 2006 and 2009. The total number of seized items increased from 2006 to 2009 and a single flight from France had the highest number of seizures, followed by flights from South Africa and Germany. Countries were grouped into regions or continents to facilitate the analysis. This grouping was based on historical and cultural ties rather than geographical aspects. Seafood was the most frequently seized product, followed by dairy products, as well as processed and raw meat.