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Hefty fine for offence

Salaseini Moceiwai
Thursday, May 29, 2014

THE Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has issued a reminder that a hefty fine will be imposed on those caught transporting, breeding or smuggling American iguanas out of Taveuni.

The reminder follows the discovery of a male American iguana on the seashore at Tawake Village in northern Cakaudrove early this week.

While BAF is yet to disclose the number of people penalised so far for this offence, authority executive chairman Xavier Riyaz Khan said they were working on containing such species on Taveuni.

"BAF would like to inform the general public that the Biosecurity Emergency Declaration on American iguanas is still valid," he said.

"Anybody found moving, transporting or breeding the American iguanas at any stage from Qamea, Taveuni, Matagi and Laucala to any other parts of Fiji or between these islands can be fined. This includes the transportation of eggs, juvenile or adult iguanas.

"The penalty for an individual is $40,000 and $200,000 for a corporate body."

On the iguana discovery in Tawake Village, Mr Khan said investigations had started to ascertain how the reptile got there.

"It's very unlikely for the iguana to swim such a distance."

The reptile was seen on the beach by a villager on Monday.

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