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Intensive efforts needed to prevent imported live chickens

by 5m Editor
4 July 2007, at 10:10am

VIETNAM - The northern border province of Lang Son which is home to many bordergates and thousands of ridged mountains and forest tracks is considered a gateway for bird flu to enter Vietnam. Despite joint efforts, the fight against the import of live chickens is becoming tougher.

We arrived at border post No22 of Bao Lam area when darkness fell. Bao Lam is known as an assembly point of unquarantined live chickens illegally imported from China. The darkness was sometimes torn apart by the wailing sirens and flashlights from Minsk motorbikes – a common means of transport on hilly and mountainous areas. All the bikes were carrying bamboo cages covered with pieces of cloth. On the distant hillside were some people talked in whispers, but it was too dark to see their faces. Now and then some people’s footsteps were heard moving in darkness with heavy loads on the backs and quickly disappearing into brushes along the track. Drizzling rain and dirty tracks did not prevent them from smuggling chickens from China due to the big profits that can be made.

Local people who are hired to transport chickens assemble the poultry in Bai Gianh area near Huu Nghi (Friendship) bordergate, from which they are then hauled to Lang Son city. Previously, the transport of imported poultry took place all day and night. Bicycles and motorcycles carrying chickens could be seen moving on National Highway 1A without being stopped by the law enforcement agency. Lorries were even hired to carry the chickens to Lang Son City’s Hoang Dong area and Deo Giang Van Vi road. From Lang Son province, the chickens were again split up and sent to other areas.

It was 3am. We saw the chickens transported to Po Mo bus station near the Lang Son cement plant. From there, they were carried to Bac Giang province and then once again divided between other localities by motorcycle drivers. By the light of our flashlight, dirty chickens packed in bamboo cages looked exhausted. We followed a motorcycle carrying them without any trouble on the way to Thuong Tin district, Ha Tay province, about 30km away from Hanoi.

Most recently, the transport of illegally imported chickens by lorries has almost stopped on national highways running through Lang Son, Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces thanks to joint efforts by inter-sector forces of these provinces. However, contraband chickens that may carry the lethal bird flu virus have been found in delta provinces. Since early this year, the Dong Dang Animal Veterinary Agency has uncovered and dealt with more than 30 cases of transporting contraband chickens (sometimes two or three cases on a single day) and decided to cull all the confiscated poultry.

Source: VietNamNet Bridge

5m Editor