Ban on poultry import stays


DEPARTMENT of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava says a ban on import of poultry still stands.
Ila’ava told The National that the ban, though indefinite, is likely to be permanent because PNG could produce disease-free poultry to meet market demands.
He said Minister Tommy Tomscoll, using his powers under the Quarantine Act, made the decision based on a study from Australia that uncooked chicken from there could have health issues.
“The decision was based on advice from quarantine and he placed the ban on import of any uncooked eggs and chicken,” Ila’ava said.
“That ban still exists now, our quarantine officers have been talking to the Australian quarantine team but not much progress has been made so far.
“For any new players who want to import chicken, we are now going to harmonise our quarantine standards with that of the New Zealand government because they have a reputation for being one of the best in the world.” Ila’ava said there will be a study trip taken to New Zealand soon and they would see how they could adopt the New Zealand standard or harmonise it so that the playing field is level for everybody.
He said work done by Niugini Table Birds and Zenag Chicken, especially in their agro-programmes, was mainly funded by the village farmers.
“They generate about K700 million annu ally so we have the capacity and a lot of potential to meet the local market,” Ila’ava said.
“PNG in poultry is known as a disease-free country and that is the reason why we are very cautious in terms of getting imports.”

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