May 20, 2004



Bangladesh Lifts Import Ban On Malaysian Poultry Parent Stocks

The Bangladesh government yesterday lifted the import ban on poultry parent stocks from Malaysia. However, the ban on import from India, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and China will continue unless bird flu situation improves in the worst affected countries.


Amid pressure from a section of importers to lift ban on Indian parent stocks, the government has decided to send a team to the neighbouring country to investigate the bird flu situation there.


The decisions were taken at a meeting at livestock and fisheries ministry with Minister Abdullah Al Noman presiding over.


According to Moshiur Rahman, managing director of Paragon Poultry, who attended the meeting, after the government level investigation, another team comprising government officials and private importers will visit India to investigate the poultry sector of the country.


"However, the schedule of the visit is yet to be fixed," he said.


Sources in the poultry sector said parent stock chicks imported from India are cheaper than those coming from other Asian and European countries. According to importers, a parent stock chick imported from India costs $2.5 while the same from Europe costs $3.


Amid outbreaks of avian flu in some Asian countries, the government imposed a ban on parent stock import from the affected countries on February 20. The ban was extended twice as the epidemic was continuing to plague the poultry population that saw millions of poultry birds died, culled and destroyed.


Bangladesh imports about 20 lakh parent stocks a year, mostly from European countries, Thailand, India and other Asian countries. The import from India accounts for 20 percent of the total import.


The Indian veterinary authorities denied having outbreaks of highly-pathogenic avian flu. But they did not deny outbreaks of low-pathogenic avian flu which may mutate into highly-pathogenic and infect humans as well as poultry, a high official of a leading hatching company said.

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