Monday, November 20, 2017

Importation of animals to seek for pastures is now out of bound

Tanzania has laid down main strategies and stringent measures among others that will help control arbitrary importation of animals from the neighbouring countries for illegal grazing in the country's territory. Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Ministry said in a statement in Dar es Salaam over the weekend. In the statement, the government has ruled out the possibility of having its genuine enforcement of the laws resulting into diplomatic squabbles. The ministry said the operations target nobody, citing confiscation of animals at different border posts with Burundi, Uganda and Kenyan citizens affected. "The operations aim at enforcing the laws and international guidelines," the government charged, maintaining: “Any attempt to turn the issue into diplomatic wrangle is wrong... the operations should never lead to diplomatic row with any country unless someone with ill intent decides to fuel the conflict.” The ministry argued that law enforcement could never spoil the relationship with other countries because all countries in the world enforce their laws to control illegal entries of animals and birds for health and environmental reasons. Among others, Tanzania applies the Animal Disease Act of 2003 and its regulations, Grazing-land and Animal Feed Resources Act of 2010 and quarantine. In the East African Community (EAC), livestock products cross borders under special procedures, with veterinarians in both countries required to strictly enforce the control measures. The statement came as clarification to recent concern that Kenya raised over the recent seizure of animals and burning of chickens reportedly imported from the neighbouring country. The government said it would write to the Kenyan government to clarify upon receipt of official letter over the matter. 

The government argued that it was established that a big number of cattle from neighbouring countries were entering Tanzania without following the laid procedures. And, an ample time was given for the herders to remove their livestock. Apart from the directive, the government also issued a diplomatic circular to Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, informing the governments to instruct their citizens to remove their illegally grazed livestock. But, some pastoralists defied the directive, leading to confiscation of 1,113 cattle in Kilimanjaro region's Mwanga district and 324 cattle in Kigoma region. Legal measures were taken against the seized animals, with 728 others released after payment of fines. In Kagera region, 1,536 cows whose owners remain unknown, are still under state control. Kenya has vehemently condemned Tanzania's seizure and burning of illegally imported 6,400 chickens. The chickens importer claimed to have sourced them from Kenya but lacked any document to prove the consignment origin, export permit or approval by any disease control authority in Tanzania. “Tanzania phoned Kenya's Director of Veterinary Services to establish whether the chickens were indeed from Kenya and if Kenya was ready to receive them,” the government said in the statement. The director reportedly denied knowledge of the consignment, saying the country was not ready to allow the chickens back without proper documents as per international guidelines. The government said it had been enforcing the control measures since 2006 and the confiscated chickens during the entire period never originated from one country.

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