​Frozen chicken from Malaysia safe: Minister

The importation of frozen chicken meat from Malaysia passed the country’s bio-security requirements.

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Tommy Tomscoll, said: “The importation was allowed after a careful and comprehensive risk assessment process, which actually started in 2006 when the importer first requested market access chicken meat from Malaysia.

“NAQIA is the only mandated Government biosecurity authority and is mindful of the current animal health status of PNG and makes every effort to maintain that status, albeit with limited government support.

“Let me assure everyone that NAQIA would never put the local industry or its people at risk of potential harmful pest and disease threats.”

Minister Tomscoll said the illegal entry of plants and animals into the country poses much greater risk.   

“The real biosecurity threat for PNG lies on the unregulated and illegal importation and exchange of biosecurity risk materials by logging or fishing crew with locals in unmonitored isolated ports devoid of visible government service delivery, or through the porous land border with Indonesia.”

However, the Poultry Industry Association of PNG (PIA) early this month raised the concern of uncooked frozen poultry products being imported illegally into the country. 

PIA said the country’s K900 million poultry industry is under threat from introduced diseases from South East Asia.

“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.

Related links

​K900m poultry industry under threat http://bit.ly/2rlPkBe

Warning for POM residents http://bit.ly/2rmkJDr

Charles Yapumi