Smuggled poultry threatens Colombians’ health

Smuggled poultry products are endangering Colombians’ health and harming farmers, the industry’s national federation said Friday.

Illicit poultry is entering Colombia from Venezuela, where avian flu killed at least five people last year. Newcastle virus, another highly contagious bird disease is also a concern in the neighboring country.

The illicit trade is also economically hurting Colombia’s 5,500 poultry farmers, 30% of which are in the northern department of Santander.

National Poultry Federation of Colombia (Fenavi) President Andres Moncada Zapata said authorities were being complacent and had to take notice of the health risks.

The proper transportion of eggs is extremely important as badly-handled eggs can contain elevated levels of salmonella bacteria, which causes severe food poisoning.

Some of the contraband actually originates in Colombia. According to Moncada, Colombian police recently seized two trucks carrying spoiled eggs which were produced in Colombia and exported to Venezuela, but then were reimported illegally after they had gone bad.

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