More than 500 jobs have been created in the UK from funding given to local authorities in England to help them maintain standards on imported animal products.

From the £14 million that was given by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs the borough of Ashford and Dover has received £8.8 million. A further £5.2 million is to be spent on recruiting staff, purchasing equipment and rolling out new systems.

Farming, Fisheries and Food Minister Victoria Prentis said: “We are rightly proud of our high standards of animal and plant goods, and we are determined to maintain them, while ensuring that operations at our ports continue to run smoothly”.

The funding and jobs boost will allow the UK to play their part in keeping the standards high for imported products coming from the EU and will also provide investment for new jobs and infrastructure.

Cllr Peter Feacey, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing at Ashford Borough Council, said: “The new service is an exciting challenge for us. The scale of the task is vast, logistically complex and extremely time sensitive. We are, however, fully committed to implementing the changes that are necessary and meeting our responsibilities.

He continued ” Just as we did in preparation for the end of the Brexit transition period, the Kent Resilience Forum, including Kent Police, KCC and Highways England, will work closely with Ashford Borough Council to deliver this challenging, but an exciting, project.]