§ Mr. Alan Reid
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of x-ray technology in detecting illegal meat imports; 
(2) what use Customs and Excise make of x-ray technology to detect illegal meat imports; and if he will make a statement. 
§ John Healey
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Mr. Gardiner) on 23 February 2004,Official Report, column 116W. HM Customs and Excise use x-ray technology to detect illegal meat and other prohibited and restricted goods being imported into the UK both by passengers and in freight. The effectiveness of current equipment is continually assessed.
Customs continue to work with manufacturers to identify improved technology that would further enhance their detection capabilities.