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61,000 eggs burned in bid to fight bird flu risk

Authorities on Tanzania's island of Zanzibar incinerated 61,000 chicken eggs this week in their continuing bid to fight the threat of bird flu.

"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 importing the eggs illegally. He said the island's business community had continued to import poultry products despite an indefinite ban imposed in 2005.

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

In April, the taskforce confiscated at least 400 chickens smuggled into Zanzibar.

"Since bird flu has not been controlled in many countries, the ban of poultry products from outside Zanzibar remains," Kassim 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. The poultry industries in Asia and a number of European countries has been ravaged by the disease, which has claimed dozens of lives.

Editor WorldPoultry

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