March 2, 2017
India's US$8.5-billion poultry industry has warned the government that allowing the importation of US chicken legs, after losing its case in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), could create a religious issue at home.
Claiming that US chicken farmers use pig fat as feed, the Poultry Federation of India urged the government to not allow entry of US chicken. Predominantly Hindu India frowns on pork.
An analyst with the rating agency ICRA was also quoted as saying in a report by Business Standard that "unabated import from the US can directly impact the processing industry, though the impact is expected to be limited in the near to medium term, given domestic preference for the live market and the limited cold chain infrastructure available".
As US consumers prefer chicken breast, the leg parts and thighs are sold cheaply and mostly exported.
The poultry federation has asked for stringent guidelines for US chicken imports such as the non-use of genetically modified (GM) corn and soya as feed, which the US uses.
On July 8 last year, India lifted trade barriers on US chicken imports after the WTO ruled that the Indian ban on US poultry meat and egg imports was against international trade rules.