By THE CITIZEN
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Tanzanian veterinarians have condemned government’s decision to burn 6,400 chicks that were illegally imported from Kenya.
The chicks worth TSh12.5 million were impounded on Monday through the Namanga Border Post in Longido District, Arusha Region.
They were set alight on Tuesday.
Expressing his concern, Executive Director of Tanzania Animal Welfare Society Thomas Kahema said the government had alternative ways of curbing disease outbreak but ignored them.
Northern Zone veterinarian Obedi Nyasebwa cited prevention against outbreak of bird flu and other diseases as the reason for burning the illegal import.
Senior veterinarian Medard Tarimo said complaints about chicks smuggling had been rife.
“They are mostly smuggled at night, endangering the health of Tanzanians because we already know of avian influenza, which broke out in neighbouring Uganda.”
But according to Dr Kahema, the best option was to return the chicks to the owner, if the reason was to really protect the outbreak of diseases.
“The decision has slightly dented our image and relation with our neighbours. Nobody expected if they would reach that decision,” he told The Citizen.
The chicks were owned by Arusha-based businesswomen Mary Matia who is still in police custody.
Tanzania banned poultry imports in 2007.