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Customs officers seize 1827 wild meat carcasses

Published: 
Thursday, October 19, 2017

The seizure yesterday of 1,827 pounds of various wild meat species smuggled into the country from Venezuela has triggered a warning to the public to be careful when purchasing wild meat.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat issued the warning in a Facebook post yesterday in which he also posted photos of the seized carcasses.

“Consumers of wild meat are reminded to be on the lookout for meat being brought into the country illegally. This meat may be harmful for human consumption,” Rambharat wrote.

Following the seizure in Cedros, he said officers of the Ministry’s Animal Production and Health Division unit had been working with other State entities to deal with the matter.

Customs and Excise officers were reportedly on patrol along Galfa beach when they saw a group of men offloading crocus bags from a pirogue called Miguelito 1, yesterday. On seeing the officers, the men ran into the bushes. The officers found 252 agoutis, six deers, 13 lappe, six wild hogs and 13 tattoos, worth about $153,493, in the bags. Game wardens Steve Seepersad and Richard Ramlogan, the Coast Guard and a veterinarian were contacted.

The carcasses were transported to the Coast Guard base in Cedros, but the carcasses, which were kept in cold storage, began to rot and were eventually incinerated at Sugarcane Feeds Centre at Longdonville.

Seepersad said while the hunting season is open it is an offence to bring the meat into the country without getting clearance from authorities.

“Members of the public need to be weary of wild meat coming from the mainland under unsanitary conditions. While there is no way to tell whether the meat is foreign or local, be careful of where you are purchasing the meat. Venezuelan meat is sometimes sold by road side vendors. Such meat could be contaminated with bacteria,” he said.