Australia reiterates its stance on poultry meat imports
The coordinating body for the Australian poultry industry, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) has reiterated the fact that it has strict protocols in place for the importation of chicken meat.
In a statement, the body said the measures are necessary to protect Australian agriculture and consumers from diseases of poultry including those related to wild birds and/or foreign pests of which Australia is currently free. It also protects Australians from public health risks such as bacteria and viruses detrimental to humans as well as chemical contamination of chicken meat from unmonitored residues.
Contamination is of particular interest in the area of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a concern for imported meat as many overseas countries are allowed to use medications important in human health management to control disease in flocks; medications which are banned for use in poultry in Australia.
Australia's strict protocols have meant that, for most countries (other than New Zealand) importation of chicken meat has not been feasible. Some cooked chicken meat which has been cooked to sterilising temperatures in its container, in accordance with Australia's strict protocols, is imported, mostly as an ingredient to processed foods such as some canned chicken, canned soup or animal food.
Australia has an outstanding record in disease prevention and containment. To date, government driven industry regulations and protocols have successfully protected consumers, agriculture and the environment from significant impacts due to exotic disease.
The ACMF believes that continuing current practice is the best approach to maintaining Australia's favourable public health, avian disease and pest status.
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