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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3943

Motion (by Senator Woodley) agreed to:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

   (i)   on 28 May 1997 representatives of the Australian Chicken Growers Council visited Canberra to highlight several outstanding concerns regarding the Federal Government's intention to lift import bans on cooked chicken from Thailand, the United States of America (US) and Denmark,

   (ii)   the council has five concerns regarding the process leading up to the Government's expected approval of imported foreign chicken, they being:

      (a)   there must be a full technical evaluation of the capabilities of commercial cooking ovens and monitoring and control equipment,

      (b)   suitably qualified Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) staff and industry technologists, by invitation, must inspect all applicant processing facilities in the US and Denmark as was done recently in Thailand,

      (c)   source chickens for import to Australia as cooked chicken meat must come only from regions certified free of the diseases of greatest quarantine and economic significance,

      (d)   areas of disagreement between AQIS and the industry concerning matters of detail contained in the draft protocols must be further examined, and

      (e)   protocols must be framed in a manner that requires less subjective judgement by AQIS staff; and

(b)   calls on the Government, in light of the recent fire blight scare which has placed our `clean green' trading status in jeopardy, to rule out approval of cooked chicken meat from countries where Newcastle disease is present.