International poultry ban worries govt, industry

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Jul 31 | Updated: Aug 1 2007, 06:46am hrs
The reports of countries imposing ban on the entry of Indian poultry products have raised the concerns of both the government and the poultry industry.

According to recent reports UAE, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Oman have imposed ban on imports of poultry products from India following the notification on July 25, 2007 about the occurrence of avian flu on a single poultry unit in village Chingmeirong in East Imphal district in Manipur in northeastern India. We have so far received confirmed reports of UAE and Sri Lanka imposing ban on Indian poultry imports.

We also came to know from other sources that Bhutan and Oman have also imposed similar ban, the joint secretary in the department of animal husbandry, Upma Chaudhary told FE.

She said that earlier in February 2006 when there was a first confirmed incidence of bird flu in the country, more than 12 country imposed ban on Indian poultry products. After successful culling and containment operations the country was declared by the world animal health organisation OIE - as free from the influence of avian flu in August 2006. Even after August 2006 some countries namely US, Pakistan and Bangladesh did not lift the ban, she said. Indias poultry exports increased from Rs 110 million in 1993-94 to a peak of Rs 3260 million in 2005-06. The incidence of avian flu was a setback to exports and domestic sales and the Rs 150,000 million industry suffered an estimated loss of Rs 30,000 million. Chaudhary said, Zoning of poultry areas is under the active consideration of the government. It is not a simple task. It involves various factors for generating data and evidences before we can effectively lay our claim before the OIE.