TANZANIA RULES OUT PROBLEMS WITH NEIGHBOURS OVER SEIZURE OF CATTLE STRAYING ACROSS BORDERS TO GRAZE

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania's Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation Ministry has ruled out the possibility of the government's enforcement of the laws on illegal grazing resulting into diplomatic squabbles.

The ministry said in a statement here Sunday that the operations did not target anyone in particular, citing the confiscation of animals at different border posts along its borders with citizens from Burundi, Uganda and Kenya all affected.

"The operations aim at enforcing the laws and international guidelines," the government stated. Any attempt to turn the issue into a diplomatic wrangle is wrong ... the operations should never lead to a diplomatic row with any country unless someone with ill intent decides to fuel the conflict.

The ministry argued that law enforcement could never spoil the relationship with other countries because all countries in the world enforce their laws to control illegal entry of animals and birds for health and environmental reasons.

Among others, Tanzania applies the Animal Disease Act of 2003 and its regulations, Grazing Land and Animal Feed Resources Act of 2010 and quarantine. In the six-nation East African Community (EAC), livestock cross borders under special procedures, with veterinarians in member countries are required to strictly enforce the control measures.

The Ministry's statement came as clarification in response to recent concerns which Kenya raised over the seizure of animals and burning of chickens reportedly imported from that country. The government said it would write to the Kenyan government to clarify upon receipt of the official letter over the matter.

The government argued that it was established that a big number of cattle from neighbouring countries were entering Tanzania without following the laid-down procedures and that ample time had been given for herders to remove their livestock.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK