Some 10,000 swiftlet bird’s nest entrepreneurs in Malaysia who were affected by the ban on the export of bird’s nest to China due to the H5N1 bird flu virus can all heave a sigh of relief now that the ban has been lifted.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the ban was lifted as the viral infection had stopped and that the 90-day sanction imposed on the export of bird’s nest to the country was almost up.
“Although the 90-day restriction period has not expired, China has given temporary relief for the export of processed bird’s nests.
“This is as an initial step before the raw bird’s nest entrepreneurs can export their products to the country when the sanction ends soon,” he told reporters after attending an Iftar dinner with fishermen at the Kuala Kemaman Jetty, yesterday.
China had earlier imposed a temporary restriction on imports of bird’s nest from Malaysia following the declaration of a bird flu outbreak in Kelantan on March 15.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry through the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) has formed a Fishermen’s Safety Team (Kukenal) to act as sea rescuers and assist during natural disasters.
Ahmad Shabery said the team had undergone a series of safety training including communication preparedness for sea rescue operations with agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
“A total of 2,000 fishermen nationwide have been trained and enlisted as Kukenal volunteers,” he said. –Bernama