Saudi Arabia bans Indian poultry products over bird flu scare

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Saudi Arabia has banned Indian poultry products over bird flu scare. Saudi Arabia is the second largest importer of poultry products from India and exporters fear other importing countries might follow suit.

Four weeks after the World Organisation for Animal Health reported an avian influenza outbreak, Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of poultry products from India.

In a note dated January 2, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) informed Indian poultry exporters, “The ministry of environment, water and agriculture of Saudi Arabia has decided to impose a temporary ban on the import of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India due to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.”

“India’s exports of hatching eggs and eggs will be stopped if India is declared as a bird flu positive country. Low pathogenic avian influenza is present in our country, which flares up sometimes,” said Balram Yadav, Managing Director, Godrej Agrovet.

Data compiled by Apeda showed a steady increase in India’s exports of poultry products from $92.53 million in 2013 -14 to $117.40 million in 2015-16. Exports of poultry products to Saudi Arabia have also moved up from $7.94 million in 2013-14 to $14.63 million in 2015-16. Saudi Arabia contributes around 15 per cent of India’s exports of poultry products after Oman with a share of over 26 per cent.