This is over the same biosecurity concerns expressed by the Fijian Government, resulting in the ban of imports of PNG products into Fiji.
“We know that Fiji has a history of avian diseases outbreak in the past, namely Mycoplasma Synoviae, Mycoplasma Gallisepticum and Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD), based on OIE/World Animal Health Information System and it will be very high risk to PNG’s poultry industry,” said the Secretary for PNG Poultry Industry Association, Dr Keith Galgal.
Dr Galgal said the government of PNG, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, had earlier this year gazetted (G43/2016) that any companies or individuals wanting to import fresh poultry products from any country in the world or region must first comply with the established biosecurity protocols, which are equivalent to New Zealand standards.
“This protocol clearly states that the country of origin must be free from the above mentioned diseases. If Fiji cannot export fresh chicken and eggs to New Zealand so why should PNG accept Fiji chicken and eggs?” said Dr Galgal.
Dr Galgal said PNG is the only other country in the South Pacific region, apart from New Zealand, that has pristine environments and free of endemic and exotic avian diseases, and the PNG poultry industry have strived to maintain this disease-free status.
Poultry industry in PNG is a striving industry worth PGK812 million to the PNG economy, of which more than 50 percent are valued to the 65,000 small to medium enterprise (SME) chicken farmers who raise chickens for live markets throughout PNG, said the association.
“Live chicken production is the fastest growing SME sub sector and any importations, including from Fiji, will put these farmers out of employment and business and compromise their well-being.
“PNG’s poultry industry had been working very closely with the government biosecurity agent, NAQIA, and had maintained a very high standard of bio security and diseases freedom for decades so that our farmers and the PNG general public can have access to disease free day old chickens and products.”
(Picture: Werner Strydom)