Small holder farmers and drivers have backed a call bythe poultry industries association for stricter control on imported poultry products.
Last weekthe association said government agencies haven’t fully assessed and identifliedthe risks ofthe disease threat associated with importing uncooked birds and eggs.
Hundreds of farmers and drivers could be out of businesses if an outbreak occurs.
Papua New Guineahas been relatively free of poultry diseases but with trade agreements opening upthe domestin PNG market to overseas imports,the threat of disease is now very real.
Much ofthe focus has been on big companies like Zenag and Niugini Tablebirds, both based in Morobe. Bet small holder farmers and drivers are now calling onthe government to pay attention tothe threat.
Moses Soni owns a small transport company, his fther used to work at Niugini Tablebirds, he has a transport contract withthe company. If production is affected his will also be affected.
The concerns come days afterthe PoultryIndustries Association highlighted problems withPNG’s bio-security regulatory mechanism.
Stanley Leah formthe Association said any disease outbreak would wipe outthe industry.
Outside Lae, small holder farmers are also calling onthe government to act. They want tighter controls and better security.
The poultryIndustries Association whose members include small holder farmers saythey wantthe National Government to ensure that big businesses and small farmers are protected.
Scott Waide, National EMTV News – LAE