(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Oman no longer requires proof of vaccination against avian influenza for chickens imported from Brazil. The move is likely to provide further impetus to poultry imports from the South American country, after it recorded around three per cent growth in January to May this year, shipping 27,604 tonnes of poultry to Oman.
Till now, Oman demanded additional proof of vaccination against the H5N1 virus, which causes avian flu, for poultry imported from Brazil.
''This will make the (cargo) registration process swifter and relatively cheaper,'' Ricardo Santin, vice president for poultry of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), was quoted in the Brazilian media about the positive impact the sultanate's decision will have on Brazilian poultry exports.
According to him, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has attested that Brazil is free from H5N1 contamination, and the fact was now being acknowledged by the Omani government. ''This prevents the same work from being performed twice by embassies and reduces (export-related) paperwork,'' he said. Santin said that since it is disease-free, Brazil has never vaccinated its birds against avian flu. Nonetheless, shipping to Oman required additional statements issued by its Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply attesting to the good health of the birds. ABPA figures show that from January through May, Brazil shipped 27,604 tonnes of poultry to Oman. ''Shipped volume was up 2.9 per cent,'' said Santin, comparing exports during the same period last year. ''The operations are well-structured and positive,'' he added.
Santin believed doing away with the requirement of an additional certification assumes significance, for it is ''a public reiteration of confidence in Brazil's system. This will facilitate our existing business. Oman is a great client,'' he said.
An official at Al Khan Foodstuff, one of the largest distributors of frozen and processed foods and also the distributor of Brazilian brand Sadia for over a quarter of a century in Oman, said that talks on this front had been on for sometime now.
''The decision will definitely ease the process of shipping and might also result in slight reduction in import costs.'' A senior official at Al Hamadi Trading & Contracting, which imports Brazilian chicken, said that the price of poultry products in the short term will not be affected.
However, an official at the National Livestock Company said that Brazil is the biggest exporter of poultry meat in the world. ''With the change in policy, there are chances that Brazil may dump extra quantities in Oman to kill competition in poultry meat imports from other countries like India.''
Since 2004, Brazil maintains its position as the largest exporter of chicken meat, exporting around 4mn tonnes to over 150 countries.
Among the world's leading poultry producers, Brazil is the only country that has never registered avian influenza disease in
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