Decision to use imported eggs only for bakery industry

The government has decided to import eggs in order to reduce the shortage of eggs that affected the consumers of this country in recent days.

However, the Department of Animal Production and Health did not give permission to import eggs as bird flu epidemics were reported from several countries from where eggs can be easily imported. Considering the shortage and need of eggs in the country, the Department of Animal Production and Health has given permission to temporarily import eggs.

A discussion headed by the Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera was held yesterday (16) at the Ministry of Agriculture regarding importation of eggs and future actions to be taken for livestock development. The Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Gunadasa Samarasinghe and the officials of the Department of Animal Production and Health and several other related institutions participated in this discussion.

The Minister of Agriculture stated that the imported eggs should be used only for the bakery industry and should not be allowed to be sold in stores for general consumption.

The Minister emphasized that these measures are taken in order to prevent the entry of the bird flu virus into Sri Lanka and further vigilance should be taken to prevent such a situation.

Accordingly, the Minister of Agriculture has given directives to the Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, Dr. (Mrs.) K.A.C.H.A.Kothalawala to immediately prepare a series of guidelines regarding the use of imported eggs in the bakery industry. It has been instructed that gloves should be used when handling the imported eggs in the bakery industry and eggshells should be disposed of or destroyed safely. It has been further advised to ensure that the remaining eggshells are not released into the environment. It was emphasized that the bird flu virus should not be allowed to enter the country.

The Minister noted that this should be the last time that eggs will be imported in this country and the production of eggs and chicken meat needed by the country should start within the next few months. He stressed that if eggs are still imported, the Ministry of Agriculture does not need a Livestock Division and the Department of Animal Production and Health. The Minister also stated that while meeting the local demand of chicken meat, eggs and other livestock products, new opportunities should be created to export livestock products to other countries as a country free from bird flu.

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