Smuggling crackdown thwarts illegal cow import from Myanmar to Thailand

Photo via AP NEWSROOM

A recent crackdown on illegal livestock smuggling led Thai authorities to intercept a convoy of five trucks, arresting five individuals and seizing 30 cattle. The incident occurred at the Thai-Myanmar border in Tak province, highlighting ongoing efforts to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

The Director-General of the Department of Livestock Development, Dr Somchuan Ratanamankalanon, stated that on May 25th, officers from Tak’s Animal Quarantine Station apprehended the smugglers as part of an ongoing operation to curb illegal livestock imports. The cattle were discovered as the smugglers attempted to transport them through Tha Song Yang district before they could enter Mae Rim Village in Omkoi district, Chiang Mai province.

Two checkpoints were set up to halt the smuggling operation, with officers successfully stopping the trucks on Highway 1267 in Tha Song Yang. The smugglers claimed they were moving the cattle from Mae Salid Village to Mae Mueang Village, both in Tha Song Yang district.

When officers requested an animal transportation permit (R.3) from the drivers, they could not produce any documentation. As a result, the smugglers were apprehended under Section 22 of the 2015 Animal Epidemic Act, which prohibits the illegal transportation of animals due to Tak province being a designated surveillance area for foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, buffalo, pigs, goats, and sheep. Violators face a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment, a fine of up to 40,000 baht (US$1,240), or both.

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Dr. Somchuan added that Chalermchai Sri-on, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, has ordered the Department of Livestock Development to maintain a strict watch on animal and carcass smuggling along its border with Myanmar to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. The department has intensified its efforts since March 1, 2023, after suspending the import of cattle, buffalo, goats, and sheep from Myanmar due to the reported outbreak of the disease in the neighbouring country.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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