With the foot-and-mouth controls in the Balearics into their second week and due to continue until at least March 27, British consumers, and to a certain extent some importers of British products are worried about the implications of the foot-and-mouth precautionary measures introduced by the local authorities, in particular at the airport and ports. Sparked by the confiscation of tea-bags, chewing gum, sweets and baby food etc. on flights arriving in Palma from the United Kingdom or by the Guardia Civil baggage checks, some people are becoming worried about the fate of Easter eggs. While the government's foot-and-mouth instructions only call for fresh meat or meat products and fresh milk or dairy products, to be prevented from entering Spain and the Balearics, concern has been caused by the seizure of a wide range of items being brought over by visitors, residents and holidaymakers. There has been one reported case of toothpaste being seized at the airport. Some importers of British goods said yesterday that they are waiting for the March 27 deadline to expire before bringing in any more goods and that some items are starting to get rather scarce on the shelves. But yesterday, while the airport authorities were criticised for failing to have introduced the foot-and-mouth control properly, Nigel Gough who owns the Detalles chocolate shop in Porto Pi, said that he has been in contact with the Veterinary College in Madrid and the government in order to confirm exactly what the controls mean and what goods are currently banned from import from the UK in anticipation of the Easter rush. Gough, who has just received his first shipment of Easter Eggs, said that officials in Madrid have said that products made of powdered ingredients are not classified as a risk item and can be imported from the UK. He admitted that had Easter eggs been banned, he would have lost a significant amount of money, but he has made the correct inquiries, leaving nothing to chance, and says he is having no problems. We've done our homework, made sure the items are 100 per cent safe. While there is no threat to humans, we did not want contaminated goods coming to the island. In fact the shipments are coming through quicker than usual, Nigel Gough said. At the airport foot-and-mouth controls appear to have been altered slightly, with the disinfected mats now being laid down at the foot of the planes. Initially the mats were at passport control well inside the airport, but the authorities realised that prior to reaching the disinfected red carpet, British visitors were walking through the terminal.
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