Monday, April 15, 2019

Airport has no quarantine facility for animals

Chennai: When Customs officials at city airport rescued a one-month-old leopard cub which was smuggled from Thailand, they did not know how to protect it. With no quarantine facility at the airport, the cub had to be sent to the Vandalur zoo.
A few years ago, some space was provided by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in the air cargo complex in Meenambakkam. However, after the renovation of the complex, the quarantine facility was taken down, a senior AAI officer said.
Former regional quarantine officer (southern region) T K Sahu said, as the Chennai airport has the maximum import consignments of live animals, a quarantine facility, which is currently not available, is essential.
Airport director G Chandramouli said space is not a constraint at the cargo complex. A counter has been allocated in the cargo complex for the quarantine officials. This was only a referral counter when live animal consignments used to come occasionally. Since the number of assignments has come down, it was closed down, he said. However, the wildlife officials argued that animals that are being rescued at the airport have no place to be quarantined.
15/04/19 P Oppili/Times of India

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