ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia is all set to lift ban on the import of poultry products from Pakistan after having been satisfied with the standard of poultry facilities.

The kingdom had suspended import of eggs and day-old chicks from Pakistan in 2005 due to bird flu disease.

Poultry’s contribution to agriculture is 5.76 per cent while poultry meat contributes to 26.8pc of the total meat production in the country.

A four-member technical delegation of Saudi Food and Drug Authority is currently visiting Pakistan, and after visiting veterinary laboratories, SFDA officials expressed their satisfaction and observed that ‘standard of poultry facilities in Pakistan is as good as in many European countries’.

The delegation visited different poultry farms to inspect the standard of poultry facilities.

The Saudi delegation also visited the National Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases and the National Veterinary Laboratory in Islamabad and expressed satisfaction over their standard.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority delegation held a wrap-up meeting with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research here on Friday, and discussed potential for poultry trade between the two countries.

Secretary, National Food Security, Seerat Asghar, told the delegation that Pakistan has been declared free from bird flu since September 2008 due to concerted efforts by the government, and poultry industry has been growing at an annual rate of 13pc.

Seerat Asghar informed the delegation about various measures undertaken complying with international standards to modernise poultry industry infrastructure and facilities, and hoped that Saudi Arabia would soon restore import of poultry products from Pakistan.

After the meeting, officials of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to tap the potential of trade in the area of poultry and livestock and emphasised that there was a need to further strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries.

The secretary apprised the delegation of various preventive and precautionary measures undertaken by Pakistan to successfully contain H5N1 virus in the country since 2005.

He also briefed the Saudi delegation that a successful ‘National Programme for the Control and Prevention of Avian Influenza’ was launched at a cost of Rs1,180.14 million for control of bird flu virus in the country.

A poultry development policy envisions sustainable supply of wholesome poultry meat, eggs and value-added products to local and international markets at competitive prices and also to facilitate and support private sector-led development for sustainable poultry production.

The policy envisages poultry sector growth of 15 to 20pc annually.

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