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Indian poultry industry protests over chicken legs import from U.S.

Staff Writer |
The $10 billion Indian poultry industry has strongly opposed the government's move to allow import of chicken legs from the U.S.

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This comes after India lost its case in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last year.

In a letter recently written to the Union Ministry of Agriculture, the Poultry Federation of India, the representative body of organised and unorganised sector poultry farmers, has warned the government that the use of pig fat as a feed by US farmers could create religious disharmony in India.

"We have written a letter to the government highlighting use of pig fat by chicken farmers in the United States. Import of chicken legs, therefore, might create religious disharmony in India.

"The government should not allow its import from the United States," said Ramesh Khatri, President of the Poultry Federation of India.

Most poultry farmers overseas use some animal fat as a protein feed in chicken breeding and the U.S. is no exception.

Some Indian farmers, largely from the unorganised sector, also use some artificial protein feed.

The Indian poultry industry faced a huge threat of cheaper chicken leg imports from the United States after India lost its case in the World Trade Organisation in July last year.

The WTO had held India's ban on import of poultry meat and eggs from the US as "inconsistent" with international norms, and called upon the country to come out with consolidated guidelines within 18 months, of which hardly a few months are left.

The WTO ruling to allow U.S.poultry imports was effectively notified in July 2016 though no imports from US have yet started.

Still, considering the strong probability of dumping of chicken drumsticks by U.S. exporters, domestic poultry players are lobbying with the government to ensure adequate protective measures are taken.

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