by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Director of the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, said there is a need to safeguard the PNG poultry from genuine bio-security risks, and a precautionary approach is justified.
The comments were part of an informal discussion that emerged following an indefinite ban imposed by the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Tommy Tomscoll, on the import of all uncooked poultry products from Australia.
Minister Tomscoll said the ban comes from food safety concerns, in particular a bacteria – campylobacter, found to be widespread in poultry products in Australia and harmful to humans.
Mr Barker also warned that PNG must be careful not to impose trade restrictions which may challenge access to affordable food to households.
The Australian High Commission maintains that Australia has strong regulatory controls and an excellent animal health status. The High Commission said PNG market is important for Australian producers and exporters of poultry products.