17 Jul 2009

Poultry fancier fined

10:45 am on 17 July 2009

A poultry fancier has been ordered to pay more than $5000 after attempting to illegally import chicken eggs.

The Ministry of Agriculture says John Jakeman of Wellington, was convicted in the Lower Hutt District Court for violating the Biosecurity Act.

It says he obtained 12 chicken eggs from an overseas breeder and tried to bypass border security screening programmes, by suggesting the supplier falsify the packaging description.

When interviewed by MAF officers, Jakeman admitted he knew that bringing chicken eggs into the country without authority was an offence.

MAF says the defendant's "deliberate attempt" to import the eggs and breed from the chickens "increased New Zealand's exposure" to potential disease.

Investigations manager Greg Reid says it's frustrating his staff has to respond to incidents where people selfishly put the wellbeing of the country at risk.

As well as being fined $5000, Jakeman was ordered to pay $250 in court costs, and sentenced to 200 hours community work.