NECC for Halt to Duty-free Chicken Leg Import from US

Poultry associations feel the move will leave the lives of 5 million people jeopardised

HYDERABAD: In the wake of the external affairs ministry suggesting free import of American chicken legs, the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) on Wednesday appealed to the Union government to rollback its decision.

The government is learnt to have come up with the proposal in return of the US government allowing shipments of Indian Basmati rice, fruits among other immigration reforms.

Representatives of the NECC, Poultry Breeders’ Association, Telangana and AP Poultry Federations, at a press conference on Wednesday, demanded the Centre not to reduce Customs Duty on the import of processed poultry products from the USA, especially chicken legs.

“It is extremely unfair to sacrifice the livelihood of over five million farmers and other persons dependant on the poultry industry in order to promote the export of other commodities,” G Ranjith Reddy of the Poultry Breeders’ Association said.

In USA, consumers prefer chicken breast which is sold at a premium price in their domestic market. “The legs are merely a by-product. The whole chicken is sold at $7.9 per kg where as the legs are sold at $3.4 per kg,” he added.

CSE Study Not True

D Sudhakar of the Poultry Federation of Telangana rubbished claims of the Centre for Science and Environment that poultry farmers in India are resorting to large-scale use of antibiotics as incorrect.

“The CSE claims to have found traces of antibiotics in chicken but have not told people what is the permissible level as per international standards. Going by European standards, the traces are way below the permissible levels and consumers need not worry,” he added.

It may be recalled that the CSE, based on its study on the presence of antibiotics in chicken, had found residues and observed that the phenomenon could lead to consumers developing resistance to antibiotics and fall prey to a host of curable ailments.

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The New Indian Express