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Australians Shocked at Poultry Ban by PNG

28 April 2015

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Papua New Guinea (PNG) has shocked Australia by banning all raw poultry imports from the country on health risk grounds.

The market is Australia’s top customer, worth A$20.5 million in 2013/14.

An industry spokesperson said the ban will directly impact processors and exporters, reports ABC Rural.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation has denied claims that Australian poultry poses a risk to consumers.

Federation executive director, Andreas Dubs, told ABC Rural that Campylobacter is a common disease in poultry found round the world, only a threat if meat is handled improperly.

"It's a well-known fact that all chicken has potentially has Campylobacter because it's a natural organism that is in the guts of chicken so it can end up on chicken meat," he said.

"It's not of any health concern provided people cook their chicken and handle it properly.

"It certainly isn't known as a reason for not accepting chicken meat in international trade".

The Department of Agriculture, Foreign affairs and Trade said the decision by PNG to ban poultry imports is disappointing but respects the right of PNG to ensure all imports are safe.

In a statement, the Department said maintaining market access to PNG is a key priority of the Australian Government and it will work with PNG authorities to "provide the assurances they require to re-instate trade as quickly as possible."

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