Thousands of illegal eggs fried

Authorities on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar incinerated 61 000 chicken eggs on Tuesday in their continuing bid to check the threat of bird flu to the community.

”We seized the egg consignment imported from the Tanzanian mainland commercial capital of Dar es Salaam last weekend,” said Khatib Suleiman Bakari, the Deputy Minister of the Zanzibar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and the Environment.

He said three people would be charged in court with the illegal importation of the eggs. He said the island’s business community had continued to import poultry products despite an indefinite ban imposed in 2005.

The chairperson of the Zanzibar bird-flu taskforce, Kassim Gharib, said if found guilty, the culprits could be fined at least $50, six months in prison, or both.

”Since bird flu has not been controlled in many countries, the ban of poultry products from outside Zanzibar remains,” Gharib said.

In June, authorities in Zanzibar intensified efforts to control the importation of poultry products, including those from the Tanzanian mainland. Hundreds of smuggled chickens were burned after importers failed to return them to their place of purchase. The deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu has been found in several African countries.

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