KUCHING: The three containers of frozen chicken wings from Netherlands seized and disposed in Sibu are illegal goods, Deputy Chief Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said.
Douglas, who is also Agriculture and Rural Economy Modernisation Minister, said checks showed that there was no veterinary import permit issued to the importer of the poultry.
Additional checks by the state’s Veterinary Department also showed that the government has suspended the import of any poultry products from the Netherlands since the end of last year.
“Importation of chicken products from Netherlands was suspended on Dec 8, 2016 due to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) or bird flu.
“The disposal of the said items is under the purview of the Customs Department,” said Douglas in a statement today.
He said the importer, who is being investigated by the Customs Department, faces a maximum RM50,000 fine or imprisonment up to two years or both if found guilty for importing the items without permit.
The state government, he said, had only allowed the importation of poultry products from approved overseas slaughtering plants, which have been inspected and audited by the Veterinary Services Department and Malaysian Islamic Development Department.
“Importation of these products must be accompanied by a valid veterinary import permit issued by the state Veterinary Authority and the consignment must be accompanied by a valid Veterinary Health certificate and a halal certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country.
“All intending importers of livestock and livestock products should first consult the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department and apply the required veterinary permits as the disease situation of the exporting country may change from time to time.”
Earlier today in Sibu, state Customs Department acting director Ahmad Zainudin Drahman said his men were in the midst of removing the frozen chicken wings from the empty plot of land in Telok Engkalat to the Kemuyang waste disposal site.
The contraband poultry weighing 8.1 tonnes were seized from the Rajang Port on Feb 23.