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Bangladesh poultry farmers oppose egg import decision

Poultry farmers in Bangladesh opposed their government's latest decision to allow import of eggs on the ground that it would spread bird flu in the country.

"As India is facing a threat of severe avian influenza virus outbreak, imported Indian eggs could also spread the epidemic in the country," Abdul Bareq Sarker, president of the Bangladesh’ organisation for poultry farmers’ rights, said.

The government earlier asked the domestic farm owners to reduce the price of eggs. It also warned of permitting egg import if the farmers do not cut the price of the major source of protein in Bangladesh.

Sarker said if the import was allowed, the local poultry industry would face sever competition and about 5.0 million people would lose jobs.

The government should bear in mind the hazard to public health involved if sub-standard eggs from the neighbouring country were imported, Sarker said.

"We will campaign on the possible threat of bird flu from the virus-affected eggs from across the border. The government should not allow import of the sub-standard eggs," he said.

Sarker said if the government does not revise its decision they would go for massive agitation programmes.

Natalie Berkhout

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