Nov 7, 2012

Vietnam - Ministry declares war against smuggled chicken

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VietNamNet Bridge - Thousands of husbandry farms in Vietnam are in danger of bankruptcy because of the massive imports of low-quality chicken from China.

In this context, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has joined hands with relevant agencies to compile a plan to prevent illegal imports of chickens of unknown origin.

The efforts to "declare war" against low-quality chicken from China is being conducted in every way, and this project will bring about positive results?

18 tons of smuggled poultry in Hanoi each week

Importing Chinese low-quality poultry across the border has become a burning issue of the agricultural sector for many years. In particular, since September 2012, import of smuggled chicken has become more rampant than ever.

Yet, it is difficult to prevent smuggled chicken because smugglers use sophisticated tricks, beyond the control of functional forces.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the authorities weekly discover 15 -18 tons of smuggled poultry in Hanoi. Approximately 40 percent of breeding poultry are out of control.

Deputy Director of the Market Management Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr. Do Thanh Lam, says that during inland transportation of smuggled chicken, smugglers regularly monitor the activities of the anti-smuggling forces to avoid them or to change the time of transporting goods. They also use multiple fake number plates or usually change the schedule, etc.

Recently, when the anti-smuggling forces take drastic measures, chicken smugglers from China, via the Mong Cai border gate in Quang Ninh province, have set up hundreds of chicken slaughtering houses in Mong Cai City. Processed chicken are frozen, boxed and transported inland.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the last nine months, the market management forces handled nearly 6,500 cases of poultry smuggling, imposed administrative fines worth more than VND30 billion ($1.5 million), seized over 400,000 chickens, nearly 300 tons of poultry meat and more than 2 million eggs of unknown origin.

The responsibility

The plan to prevent smuggled poultry of unknown origins is considered necessary. However, according to Colonel Tran Trong Binh, Deputy Director of Environment-related Crime Prevention Police Agency, preventing smuggled chicken of unknown origins cannot just be implemented at Ha Vi Market, the largest wholesale market of poultry in the north, but also in border provinces and the provinces around Hanoi.

"We need to hit hard poultry smugglers in border areas and the consumption markets of smuggled poultry," Binh said.

Besides, local governments have to bear responsibility for the appearance of smuggled poultry in their areas.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms. Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, consumers buy smuggled chicken not for their cheap prices because high-quality domestic chicken are priced only VND55.000-VND60.000 ($2.5-3) per kilo.

"Consumers buy Chinese chicken simply because they like to eat tough meat. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working with relevant bodies to test chemical residues in low-quality chicken from China, to evaluate the nutritional content of this type of chicken to give recommendation to consumers," she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said that the plan should clearly define the responsibilities of each management agency.

100,000 tons of chicken illegally imported into Vietnam in October

According to the Husbandry Department, in the past 10 months, about 100,000 tons of low-quality chicken (equivalent to 45,000 tons of meat) were illegally imported into Vietnam from China.

This volume is equivalent to the total amount of frozen meat of all kinds that were officially imported into the country in the same period.

So far this year, 15 - 20 million breeding chickens have also been illegally imported and over 50,000 tons of frozen meat has been officially imported into Vietnam.

Compiled by Na Son

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