By HELEN TARAWA
TRADE, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru says the ban on poultry is good for Papua New Guinea and he fully supports it.
“I support the ban by the agriculture minister. We should not bring in uncooked poultry products from Australia because that’s where the live viruses and diseases can come into our country,” Maru told The National yesterday.
“I fully support the ban, it’s the right ban.
“New Zealand does not bring cooked products from those countries in order to protect its poultry industry.
“One of the reasons why I’m keen to go to New Zealand is to make sure we document and understand what their standard is and that now must become part of the biosecurity protocol for PNG and we maintain the same standard.
“Uncooked products should not be imported into the country, that’s the current stand of our minister. I want to thank him and he has my full backing.
“We are not trying to protect our market by doing that. We are trying to protect the industry from diseases which may wipe it out and affect all our farmers in this country.”
Commenting on Fiji’s ban on Ox and Palm and other PNG products, Maru said they had written to the Fiji government three weeks ago asking them formally for the result of the import risk assessment.
“We are not happy that they have not come back to us and we have also communicated to our High Commissioner in Fiji, Lucy Bogari to go and see them and we want some answers.
“We are using the normal protocol first to get some answers from them. Yes, they have kept too quiet and we are not happy with that and we’ve actually now written to them asking the minister to respond.
“We have not received any response and I can confirm that. This is the last week; if I don’t hear anything then we will chase them up again.
“I was hoping to get a response on my desk before I came back from Apec but that hasn’t happened.
“It’s not something that we will forget, we will continue to pursue that with Fiji.”
By HELEN TARAWA