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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 29 September 2004

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Resumption of poultry & egg imports from Malacca & Johor

Source: www.ava.gov.sg 

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has inspected and is satisfied that the necessary measures that are needed to maintain Johor and Malacca as a bird-flu free zone have been put in place by the Malaysian authorities.

AVA will thus lift the ban of import of poultry and eggs from Johor and Malacca with effect from 30 Sep 2004. This will be for as long as the current bird flu outbreak in Malaysia is contained in Kelantan.

AVA has been working closely with Malaysia’s Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) over the last 4 weeks on partial lifting of the ban on Malaysian poultry and eggs, without compromising public and animal health.

DVS had earlier proposed that Singapore resume imports from areas that are free of bird flu in Malaysia.

AVA agreed to consider lifting the import suspension on the southern states of Johor and Malacca, provided Malaysia has put in place all the necessary disease prevention and control measures that are in line with international standards.

Towards this end, AVA had sent inspection teams to Malaysia on 3 occasions between 7 Sep 2004 and 25 Sep 2004 to observe the adequacy and implementation of the measures.

The control measures that DVS has implemented include the following:

(i) DVS has contained outbreaks within Kelantan to date. Malaysia has also intensified patrols and set up roadblocks at towns along the Kelantan border. Police and army personnel have been mobilised to check the movement of birds in Kelantan to prevent the bird flu outbreak from spreading to other states.

(ii) DVS has secured a buffer zone of states adjoining Johor and Malacca and intensified disease surveillance in the buffer zone.

(iii) Malaysia has invoked legislation to control the movements of poultry and poultry products (including eggs) from other Malaysian states into Johor and Malacca. Movement of poultry and poultry products must be approved by DVS.

(iv) Malaysia has imposed effective ground measures to control the movement of poultry and poultry products into Johor and Malacca.

(v) DVS will inspect all accredited farms in Johor and Malacca before issuing export permits and health certificates to certify freedom of disease for each consignment of poultry or eggs.

(vi) DVS will also inspect every export consignment at the Johor side of the Second Link prior to entry into Singapore.

In addition to the above measures, AVA will inspect all import consignments again upon entry at the Tuas checkpoint.

The many layers of checks, at the accredited farms and at the export and import checkpoints, will help to minimize the risks of infected poultry consignments entering Singapore undetected.

85 chicken broiler farms, 7 layer farms, and 3 duck broiler farms in Johor and Malacca have been approved to resume exports to Singapore.

The supply of egg, chicken and duck may fluctuate in the first few weeks when the suspension is lifted as some of the farms clear out their existing stock and restock with day-old birds.

Nonetheless, frozen chicken and ducks will help to buffer the supply fluctuation until the supply situation stabilises.

The resumption of imports from Johor and Malacca will, however, only apply to commercial consignments from the accredited farms.

Members of the public are reminded that the ban on individuals bringing in poultry and poultry products from Malaysia still remains. This is a necessary precautionary measure to ensure that only poultry and poultry products from AVA-accredited sources in the bird-flu free zone are allowed to enter Singapore.

Source: Agri-food & Veterinary Authority, Ministry of National Development Press Release 28 Sep 2004

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Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 11 November 2004.