Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has stated that a five-year-old order to burn 6,400 live chicks smuggled from Kenya was wrong. The chicks were set on fire in November 2017 after being seized at the Namanga border town on suspicion of being trafficked into Tanzania.
Five years after the fire, the president stated the incident nearly ruined the two countries’ long-standing relationship.
“It was not a good way to handle such imports. Even chickens have the right to live,” Suluhu Hassan remarked in an address to the region’s lawyers.
Members of the two neighbouring countries’ economic communities, as well as animal rights organisations, slammed the action. The 6,400-day-old chicks were detained at the two states’ famous border town on suspicion of being illegal imports.
Kenya nearly became embroiled in a diplomatic spat after formally protesting what it called “a policy shift that condones hostile actions against Kenyan citizens”.
Pindi Chana, Tanzania’s then-High Commissioner to Kenya, was summoned by Kenya’s Foreign Ministry to explain “the unilateral move.”
The Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries stated at the time that the burning of live chicks was done to prevent the spread of avian flu. Kenya stated there had been no reports of bird flu within its borders, but Tanzanian officials claimed the importation of the chicks was not supported by paperwork.
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