Authorities in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous island in Tanzania have multiplied their efforts to curb chicken import in a bid to control the outbreak of bird flu on the island.
Scores of chickens that were illegally brought into Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania, were destroyed last week after importers failed to return them. A couple of them were facing prosecution after they failed to send back the illegally imported chickens to their place of origin, despite orders to do so.
The banning of the importation of the chickens also extends to the import from mainland Tanzania just for precautionary purposes, intended to protect the health of the people from a possible bird flu infection.
The bird flu prevention task force is part of the island's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment .The import of chicken and other poultry products were banned in . Zanzibar from 2005. According to the Tanzanian media reports last week that the mainland government too had reinforced its ban on poultry imports, fearing the risks involved.
The deadly H5N1 strain has been reported in several African countries. The poultry industry in Asia and several european countries has been severely hit by the disease, which claimed dozens of human lives.