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16 July 2009
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is pleased with the conviction handed down today in the Lower Hutt District Court to a Wellington man for the illegal importation of chicken eggs.
John Jakeman was convicted for violating the Biosecurity Act 1993. He was fined $5 000, sentenced to 200 hours community work and ordered to pay $250 for court costs.
Mr Jakeman had obtained 12 chicken eggs from a chicken breeder overseas and as a self confessed poultry fancier had gone to some trouble to bypass the border biosecurity screening programmes.
When interviewed, the defendant admitted he knew that bringing chicken eggs into New Zealand without authority was an offence. He had suggested the supplier falsify the packaging description to increase the chance of them entering the country undetected.
MAF Investigations Manager Greg Reid said he was pleased with the outcome of the case as it sent a clear message about how seriously New Zealand takes biosecurity.
"The defendant's deliberate attempt to import these eggs and breed from the chickens increased New Zealand's exposure to potential disease. It is frustrating responding to incidents where people selfishly put the wellbeing of our country at risk."
"If we are going to protect this country's unique biodiversity we must all be vigilant about preventing unwelcome imports that may carry a risk of introducing a pest or disease into the country."
MAF issues import health standards to manage risks associated with the import of goods which may cause unwanted harm to natural and physical resources or human health in New Zealand. These standards set our procedures and documentary requirements that all importers must meet prior to the import and release of any eggs in New Zealand.
Lisa Gibbison, Communications Adviser, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, 04 894 0432 / 029 894 0432