Malaysia to allow export of live broiler chicken from Oct 11

Before the ban, Malaysia supplied about a third of Singapore's chicken. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore will soon be able to import live broiler chickens from across the Causeway as Malaysia is lifting its export ban from Oct 11.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Sunday said it received official notification from Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) on the lifting of the ban which has been in place since June 1.

SFA said it welcomes the resumption of live broiler chicken imports and is seeking clarification on the details. Broiler chickens are raised specifically for meat production and bred specifically for optimal health and size.

It added: "As Singapore will continue to face disruptions in our food supply from time to time, due to external factors, SFA will continue to accredit more sources of chicken and work with the industry to diversify."

The agency encouraged businesses to review their business continuity plans and to diversify further to reduce their risks of supply disruptions.

"Households and individuals too can contribute to our food resilience by being flexible with our food and ingredient choices, and switching to alternative products or sources when necessary," said SFA.

Chicken importers here said they were informed in writing on Friday by Malaysia's DVS about the lifting of the ban.

Head of business development at importer Kee Song Food, Mr James Sim, said that while the company has been importing frozen goods to be traded during this period, it was four months of agony with sales dropping by 50 per cent to 70 per cent from before the ban. 

Mr Ma Chin Chew, secretary of the Poultry Merchants’ Association, said: “It is definitely good news for us as well as for Singaporeans. At last we can have fresh chicken from Malaysia.”

But he added that whether the live broiler chickens will make it to Singapore on Oct 11 will depend on exporters being able to obtain health certificates from DVS in time, with Monday being a public holiday in Malaysia.

Malaysia imposed the ban on chicken export following a local shortage of supply.

Before the ban, Malaysia exported 3.6 million chickens a month. It supplied about a third of Singapore's chicken, which translates to close to 73,000 tonnes a year.

The export ban was partially lifted following a Malaysian Cabinet decision on June 8 allowing the export of live kampung and black chickens to Singapore.

In August, Malaysia announced a further lifting of a ban on chicken export from October with several caveats, including allowing only selected farms to resume exports.

Tan Sri Annuar Musa, chairman of Malaysia’s anti-inflation task force, had also stressed that the Malaysian Cabinet said that priority must continue to be given to domestic consumption first, even when there is a small oversupply.

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