KANGAR, April 1 — The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry (MOA) has given its assurance that the problems surrounding bird’s nest export to China will be resolved soon.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said representatives from China would be coming to Malaysia this month to look into the matter.
“This followed a visit by MOA officers to China last week to clarify the bird flu (H5N1) outbreak in Kelantan and the authorities there now have a clearer understanding but they want to have a first hand look at the situation.
“I was also informed that they have no problems resuming the trade on condition they look at how Malaysia handled control of the disease from spreading out of Kelantan,” he said.
Shabery told reporters this after the opening of the Perlis-level ‘Jalinan Kasih Rakyat’ organised by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) by Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man.
China recently imposed a temporary ban on bird’s nest imports from Malaysia over H5N1 outbreak declared by the Kelantan government on March 15.
Shabery said the representatives from China wanted to see for themselves Malaysia’s procedures in processing bird’s nest with heat treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.
“But first we have to convince them that the bird flu outbreak in Kelantan is under control and the affected areas had been zoned to prevent the disease from spreading,” he said.
The value of bird’s nest export to China is RM135 million annually and the bird flu outbreak in Kelantan is a serious issue as it affected a large portion of the trade, he added.
At the same time the Veterinary Services Department would continue monitoring birds in Kelantan until the state was declared free of the bird flu, he said. — Bernama