May 25, 2017BY MELISHA YAFOI
RURAL Industries Council chairman Sir Brown Bai has urged that a Credible Strategic Review Committee be immediately established by National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
This is to investigate and review the status of the disease of birds in Malaysia and other countries from where poultry is being imported.
These calls have been made following reports of the illegal importation of frozen poultry into PNG and of PNG’s disease-free status.
He said it is crucial that birds and animals must be carefully screened to ensure they are disease free.
“Government has not adequately resourced NAQIA to do its job well.”
The RIC urges the Government to resource NAQIA adequately and also requests the Government to establish the full NAQIA Board.
“Calls by the private sector to Government to establish a fully constituted Board have fallen on deaf ears,” Sir Brown said.
“The RIC is very concerned that almost all our major cash crops have been hit by pests and diseases that came in from outside the country,” he said.
“All commodities Boards, apart from oil palm, have Interim Boards and by their respective laws, these Boards must be appointed urgently,” he added.
Pertinent questions were put to the PNG Customs chief Commissioner Ray Paul, including if customs were aware of the containers with illegal frozen chicken that had been landed in the country, reportedly from Malaysia.
However, Mr Paul neither confirmed nor denied this.
Instead the customs chief said the entry of the poultry imports was a matter for NAQIA as the regulatory Authority and technical capacity to deal with.
“PNG Customs Service will only facilitate poultry imports if and when approval is granted by NAQIA. Any importer or the Poultry Industry who has issues relating to poultry imports will have to see NAQIA.
“PNG Customs service works very closely with NAQIA on all imports relating to plants and animals which are regulated by NAQIA laws.
“Furthermore, we encourage the public and Industry to provide information of interest that they deem illegal upon sighting to assist us with our work,” he said.