Police set up roadblocks to prevent bird smuggling

The police have set up road blocks in the region to stop the smuggling of poultry from the affected communities, an Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman said. They are also sending up a helicopter three times a day to observe the main roads on which poultry is transported. "Part of the idea is that people will know it's not worth trying to smuggle. When they know there are a lot of forces around the chances that they will attempt anything are smaller," she said. Superintendent Meir Lankri, the commander of Kiryat Gat police station, said the Border Police is taking the lead in stopping the smuggling, although he has provided five patrol cars to assist in the operation. Despite any smuggled poultry being potentially infected with avian flu, the policemen trying to prevent the transportation of the birds don't have to wear protective gear, the spokeswoman said. "The special clothing is only needed for a coop in which the virus has been identified," she said. On Sunday police caught smugglers trying to transport poultry out of Sdeh Moshe, which is near Kiryat Gat.