Sharp increase in smuggling: over 1,000 animal vaccines, potentially hazardous to them, have been uncovered at the Allenby Bridge crossing this month
When we vaccinate livestock, we feel safer about their health. However Ministry of Agriculture inspectors together with the customs inspectors at the Allenby Bridge crossing last month caught a record number of attempts to smuggle vaccines intended for vaccinating livestock.
Every month the inspectors at the Allenby Bridge crossing encounter no more than several attempts to smuggle medications or vaccines - no more than 20 drugs or vaccines. These are destroyed. However, this last month the Ministry of Agriculture inspectors and the customs inspectors uncovered over 20 attempts to smuggle drugs or vaccines totaling more than 1,000 different vaccines intended for livestock. The vaccines found were intended as vaccinations against a broad range of diseases, especially among cows and sheep. The vaccines that were seized had been transported to the Allenby crossing with no refrigeration and without an import license as issued by the veterinary services at the Ministry of Agriculture. This means it was an attempt to smuggle vaccines totally unsupervised, posing a potentially serious threat to the health of the animals. In most cases, the smugglers are Palestinians living in the autonomy territories. All the suspects were remanded for interrogation and the vaccines were sent to be destroyed.
In general, the Ministry of Agriculture inspectors work day and night to verify that the goods entering Israel from the various border crossings are approved by the relevant entities. Quite often, the inspectors uncover smuggling of livestock or agricultural produce which may be harmful to public health, livestock health and to local agriculture. These seizures are stopped at the border crossing.
The Ministry of Agriculture explains that apparently, the smuggling of vaccinations and medicines is intended to save money for importers or for suppliers through ordering and smuggling medicines arriving from Jordan. However it must b understood that thanks to the inspectors’ vigilance, substantial harm to livestock is prevented since they were destined to be vaccinated with these vaccinations