PALAKKAD: Is the smuggling of chicks more lucrative than transporting live adult chickens? The recent seizures of chicks, brought into the state from Tamil Nadu using luxury cars and SUVs, by the intelligence wing of the Commercial Taxes Department have exposed the modus operandi of smugglers.
According to officials, Scorpios, Innovas and Xylos are being extensively used by chick smugglers, who have knowledge of the border terrain and nondescript roads. “In the last two months alone, we made six seizures of chicks from luxury cars arriving through bylanes. The chicks are transported in trays. One tray accommodates 80 to 100 chicks,” said Commercial taxes (Intelligence) officer K Karunadas. His team recently chased a car for 8 km to seize 5,000 chicks. An action that netted `1,36,790 as fine to the exchequer.
The Commercial Taxes Department imposes a 72.5 per cent tax in place of the normal 14.5 per cent, once a seizure is effected. The farmers who take chicks as part of integration farming can do it only for five times a year.
Under integration farming, poultry firms in Tamil Nadu provide one-day old chicks and feed to farmers in Kerala and buy it back after 40 to 45 days, Karunadas said.