"Not only are global fears of avian influenza receding, imports of parent stock is needed to maintain routine production cycles of parent breeder farms."
Last October, the Department of Animal Production and Health imposed a blanket ban on all poultry imports, reacting to World Health Organisation fears of a possible pandemic.
Sri Lanka has 32 parent breeder farms, producing chicks for eggs as well as broilers. These farms usually import about half a million parent birds.
Poultry imports have been closely controlled since the first reported cases of avian influenza two years ago. Imports of whole chicken as well as chicken parts are still not allowed.
Poultry feed also have strict fumigation requirements at the point of unloading. Sri Lanka has reported no cases of avian flu to date, though it has affected both poultry and human populations in about nine South East Asian countries.
Sri Lanka’s poultry industry is worth an estimated Rs. 84 billion.