The Veterinary Services Department has refuted Indonesian media reports that the Malaysian government has approved the import of chickens and ducks from the neighbouring country.

It said the issue of import and export of animal products had been raised during the department’s meeting with Indonesia’s directorate general for livestock services (DGLS) in Putrajaya earlier this week.

“During the meeting, the DGLS director-general (Ketut Diarmita) stated their intention to export village chicken and duck hatchlings to Malaysia,” the department said in a statement today.

“However, the Malaysian veterinary services department’s director-general (Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam) did not make any decision, nor did he agree with the proposal,” it added.

On Wednesday, the Jakarta Post quoted Ade Zulkarnain, secretary-general of Indonesia’s animal farm board, as saying Putrajaya had agreed to the offer from Indonesia’s agriculture ministry which was on a trade mission to begin buying the poultry early next year.

He said Malaysian government representatives would inspect chicken and duck farming practices there to ensure compliance with World Organisation for Animal Health standards, as well as proper management based on the Good Breeding Practices code.

He also said the Indonesian government had cleared certain farms in Bogor and Purwakarta of any traces of avian influenza.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) secretary-general Paul Selvaraj was reported by The Star last year as saying Malaysia was self-sufficient in a few food items, including eggs, poultry and pork.

He said the country was too dependent on the import of essential items, and needed to focus more on food crops to become more self-sufficient.-FMT

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