​K900m poultry industry under threat

​The country’s K900 million poultry industry is under threat from introduced diseases from South East Asia.

The Poultry Industry Association of PNG (PIA) raised the concern after discovering that uncooked frozen poultry products are being imported illegally.

“This is extremely dangerous for PNG farmers and wildlife because highly virulent H5N1 Avian influenza, or Human Bird Flu, Newcastle Disease and Infectious Bursal Disease, can be carried on frozen carcasses,” PIA spokesman, Dr Keith Galgal, said.

“This is a serious concern to PNG families and a breach of PNG import biosecurity protocols.

“PIA is currently working closely with NAQIA and relevant government authorities to keep PNG disease free.”

It is gazetted that any poultry products to reach PNG’s shore must meet the New Zealand biosecurity standard.

The poultry industry contributes over K900 million into the country’s economy, with K450 million raised by local farmers.

The National Agriculture and Research Institute estimates that 1 out of 4 households are involved in poultry production, and the industry directly employs 3000 people.              

Charles Yapumi