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NZ man fined for swiftlet nest imports

The New Zealand Poultry Industry Association (PIA) has welcomed the prosecution of a man who attempted to illegally import 68 birds nest from Malaysia.



Tian Chi Lee was fined $15 000 by the Manukau District Court last week after he was caught with the swiftlet birds nests.

Michael Brooks, chief executive of the PIA, told Radionz.co.za that the nest could lead to a outbreak of avian flu in New Zealand.

“One thing we are certainly seeing around the world is that a range of wild bird species are proving susceptible to avian influenza, carrying avian influenza,” he said.

“Particularly in parts of Asia and around the world, we’re seeing a real burst again of avian influenza outbreak and that’s the risk that we have here, that this may be from such species.

“That’s why the regulations are in place. Clearly this gentleman was aware there were bans, because it was sent with a false declaration to a fictitious person.”

Swiftlet birds construct their nest out of saliva secretions, which could potentially carry a number of diseases. The nests are considered a delicacy in China.

Image: Shutterstock



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