Smugglers trying to get fighting cocks and other wild birds into the island have gone as far as packing birds in card tubing and sending eggs through the post.
Senior Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Trotman said yesterday bird smuggling was a major concern for officials and they were working with Customs officials to close the door on the illegal activity.
“We try to work with the Customs Department in identifying the sources of smuggling and we often have discussions with Customs on ways that birds can be smuggled into the country,” he said during a Press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture in Graeme Hall, Christ Church which was called to discuss the country’s avian influenza surveillance activities.
“We have intercepted on many occasions not only birds. I’ve actually intercepted a shipment of eggs sent in through the post office in some medium to keep them alive until they can be hatched. We’ve intercepted various paraphernalia – spurs and medications and supplements – that are often used for fighting birds, so this is how we know that the industry does go on.
“[In terms of] shipments through the post office, something that seems perfectly innocuous could have eggs in them or birds. I’ve known of cases where people will put birds in the tubing that paper towels come on and bring them in that way.”